Adolf Dassler was a German cobbler-turned-entrepreneur who established the German sportswear company Adidas. His older brother, Rudolf Dassler, established Puma. The two brothers initially operated the Dassler Brothers Sports Shoe Factory. Adolf was a pioneer in designing athletic shoes and in selling them through endorsements from athletes.
Peter Thiel is a German-American venture capitalist and entrepreneur. As the co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel redefined the way online payments and online money transfers work in the United States and most Asian countries. He also played a major role in the development of Facebook as its first outside investor.
Hugo Boss was a German businessman and fashion designer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular fashion houses in the world, Hugo Boss AG. Apart from maintaining his business endeavors, Hugo Boss was also a member of the Nazi Party and remained loyal to the ideology of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Levi Strauss, the man behind the iconic clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co., or Levi's, which was also the first blue-jeans-manufacturing firm, was born in Germany and later moved to the US. It is rumored that his jeans were meant for the labor class, and he himself had never worn a pair.
11 Uwe Boll
Susanne Klatten is a German businesswoman and billionaire heiress. The daughter of Herbert Werner Quandt, who is credited to have saved BMW from near bankruptcy, Klatten inherited her father's 50.1% stake in chemicals and pharmaceutical manufacturer Altana after his death. According to Forbes magazine, Klatten is the richest woman in Germany.
German businessman Heinrich Schliemann didn’t let his poverty or lack of education hinder his growth and learned several languages moving from place to place for trade. A pioneer in the field of archaeology, he is now remembered as the man who discovered Troy in his bid to unearth “Priam's Treasure."
22 Jakob Fugger
Jakob Fugger was a German merchant, banker, and mining entrepreneur. Born into the famous Fugger merchant family, Jakob Fugger helped expand the family business and stretched it across Europe. Thanks to his banking transactions with the House of Austria, Fugger also had a strong influence on European politics. He is counted among the wealthiest individuals of all time.
Ludwig Erhard was a German politician best remembered for his efforts to recover the economy in West Germany after the Second World War while serving as the Minister of Economic Affairs. From 1963 to 1966, he served as West Germany's chancellor. Although he was an influential politician, Erhard lacked support from former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, leading to Ludwig Erhard's resignation.
25 Dietmar Hopp
26 Zygi Wilf
27 Robert Bosch
The founder of the German engineering and technological MNC Bosch, Robert Bosch was born to a farmer in a south Germany village. He is also remembered as one of the first Germans to introduce 8-hour work days. He also invented the high-voltage spark plug and magneto for automobiles.
28 Tobias Lutke
Born to a German Jewish family, Ralph H. Baer and his family escaped to New York later. He went from working in a factory to becoming an engineer. While working at Sanders Associates, he developed the idea of playing games on TV and later created the first video game console.
32 Carl Laemmle
34 Ida Straus
German electrical engineer Werner von Siemens is remembered as a pioneer of the telegraph industry. The founder of Siemens also inspired the name to the SI unit of electrical conductance. He was part of the Prussian army and had begun his chemistry experiments while in prison for a minor crime.
38 Karl Benz
Karl Benz was a German engine designer, automotive engineer, and entrepreneur. He designed the Benz Patent Motorcar, for which he received a patent in 1886. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before venturing into developing motorcars. His Benz Patent Motorcar is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile.
39 Walther Funk
Tessy Antony de Nassau is a Luxembourgish non-profit executive and businesswoman. She was formerly married to Prince Louis of Luxembourg and was one of the most important members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. For her humanitarian work, Tessy was honored with the Mrongovius Medal in 2016. A multi-talented personality, Tessy practices spinning, scuba diving, swimming, skiing, and hunting.
41 John Kluge
Born Vera Buchthal, Steve Shirley moved from Germany to Britain as a child refugee during the Nazi regime. Later, going by the name Stephanie Brook, she began learning coding. Battling a male-dominated workplace environment, she changed her name to Steve. The celebrated scientist now runs a charitable foundation.
German socialite and philanthropist Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis, or Princess TNT, had met her husband, Prince Johannes, when she was 19 and he was 53. Following his death, she was faced with a $500 million debt, sold off her riches, and became a Catholic activist.
Born to a cigar merchant in Germany, Ernest Oppenheimer went to South Africa as a representative of a diamond brokerage company and ended up becoming the mayor of Kimberley. He later established himself as a leading financier, who chaired De Beers and co-founded the Anglo American Corporation.