Reinhard Mohn turns 80
Architect of Bertelsmann looks back on a successful life as entrepreneur and philanthropist
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Reinhard Mohn celebrated his 80th birthday privately. Not only is Reinhard Mohn considered to be the architect of one the world’s most successful media enterprises, he was also instrumental in creating the non-profit Bertelsmann Foundation, a workshop for global reform and an important center for social and political research.
Demonstrating entrepreneurial vision, Reinhard Mohn transformed Bertelsmann AG after World War II into a top international media conglomerate. Today the company includes publishing houses, music companies, book and music clubs, magazines and newspapers, television and radio stations, print and other media services, and multimedia companies such as Random House, BMG, Gruner + Jahr, RTL, and the science and business media group BertelsmannSpringer. Bertelsmann AG currently has 81,000 employees in 60 countries and reported earnings of DM 32.5 billion in the 1999-2000 fiscal year.
To ensure continuity of the business and to express his sociopolitical commitment, Reinhard Mohn established the Bertelsmann Stiftung in 1977. The foundation serves as a workshop for reform, offering solutions to current social problems through its nonprofit activities in the areas of education, business, media, administrative reform, international policies, medicine, culture and foundation work. With a budget of approximately DM 125 million and more than 270 employees, it is Germany’s largest private operating foundation.
In recognition of his exceptional work as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Reinhard Mohn has received numerous honors and awards, including the Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany, honorary membership in the Club of Rome, the Spanish Grand Cross, and the highly regarded Príncipe de Asturias Prize. In addition he has received the European Philanthropic Prize, the Schumpeter Prize, the Hanns Martin Schleyer Award, and the Fugger Medal. The University of Münster has also awarded him an honorary doctorate.