(born Friede Riewerts
on 15 August 1942 in Oldsum on the island of FÃ¶hr) is a German publisher and widow of Axel Springer.
Being a Frisian gardener's daughter, she worked as a nanny at the Springer family's home from 1965 on and later became Springer's lover and eventual partner. In 1978 she became Springer's fifth (and final) wife. She is a member of the Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Germany.
After Axel Springer's death she, together with children and grandchildren from his prior marriages, inherited Springer's shares in his publishing trust. At the time, Springer was still holding 26.1 per cent of the corporation, the rest was held by the Bavarian film trader Leo Kirch, the Burda family and several minor investors. Subsequently she became manager of Axel Springer AG and sole executive manager of the Springer Holding.
Under her guidance, the Springer heirs bought back the company's shares from the two Burda brothers for about DM 531 million in 1988. Five years prior, the brothers had paid half that sum for their share. As Springer's children leaned up against her in the following years, she bought the family members out and thus took over their shares. In 2002, she (formally being the company's governing body) installed Mathias DÃ¶pfner as the new chairman of the board. He led the Springer AG out of its crisis and dissolved the tight bond with Munich based entrepreneur Leo Kirch.
Friede Springer owns 7% of Springer AG's stocks, most of all though 90% of Axel Springer Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Publizistik GmbH & Co., which in turn has a stake of 51.5% in Axel Springer AG. She acts as deputy chairperson of the board for Germany's second largest media group (with only Bertelsmann AG being bigger). After a merger with ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG the trust would have been on rank 24 of a worldwide list, yet such a motion could not pass a governmental commission's check for harmlessness of media conglomerates in Germany in January 2006.
According to Forbes Magazine she owns a private fortune of US$ 3.2 billion and thereby was ranking as number 26 on the list of Germany's wealthiest people and number 273 worldwide in 2007.
She is not only a friend of Angela Merkel but also a party member of the Christian Democratic Union. As such she participated in the 12th Federal Assembly in 2004 to elect the President of Germany.
Among other decorations she received the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin in 1988, the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1996, the Leo Baeck Price by the Central Council of Jews in Germany in 2000 and in 2004 she received the Bavarian Order of Merit.
Source @ Wikipedia