Guido Westerwelle, the former German
foreign minister and leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, died
on Friday in Cologne. He was 54.
The Berlin-based Westerwelle Foundation
for International Understanding, which he co-founded, said on its
Facebook page that Westerwelle died from complications from leukemia.
“We mourn our leader Guido
Westerwelle,” the group wrote. “He died on 18 March 2016 at
Cologne's University Hospital of complications relating to leukemia
Westerwelle was Germany's first openly
gay cabinet minister, serving four years as vice-chancellor and
foreign minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's second cabinet.
Westerwelle was one of Germany's most
well-known politicians since the 1980s.
He entered a civil partnership with
Michael Mronz, an event manager, in 2010, roughly six years after
publicly announcing his sexuality. The men were crowned a “power
couple” by German media.