Mohn, Reinhard

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Mohn, Reinhard Gender: M
born on 29 June 1921 at 20:00 (= 8:00 PM )
Place Gütersloh, Germany, 51n54, 8e23
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Orig source not known
Rodden Rating C
Collector: Taeger
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 07°27' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 21°49 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 27°24'

Reinhard Mohn
photo: Hubert Hartmann (1915-2006), Wiedenbrück, license gfdl


German businessman who turned Bertelsmann, a "provincial, war-shattered German publisher", into the sixth largest media conglomerate in the world. His ancestor Carl Bertelsmann, had founded the family publishing company in the town in 1835. The eighteen-year-old Mohn was drafted for World War II. A lieutenant in Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, he was wounded and captured by the Americans in Tunisia in 1943. He ended up in Camp Concordia, a prisoner of war camp in Kansas. There, he learned English as well as American business practices. When he was released and returned home in 1946, his father persuaded him to work in the family business.

Mohn ran the company as CEO from 1947 to 1981. The revenue from book club sales enabled him to acquire other publishing companies, including Bantam Books, Doubleday, and Random House; record labels, such as RCA Victor; and radio and television chains, including Germany's RTL Television and 90% of Britain's Channel Five. He took the company public in 1971. He retired in 1981, but became alarmed at the direction in which one of his successors, Thomas Middelhoff, was taking the firm and ousted Middelhoff in 2002. The family reasserted its control. Mohn set up the non-profit Bertelsmann Foundation to promote social and political reform in 1977. In 1993, he endowed it with 69% of his Bertelsmann shares, though the voting shares were held by another company, half of whose directors were from his family.

He was married twice. He had a son, Johannes, and two daughters with his first wife, Magdalene, whom he married in 1949. At the age of 38, he met seventeen-year-old switchboard operator Liz Beckmann at a company function. They had two sons, Christoph and Andreas, and a daughter, Brigitte, and eventually married in 1982, when Mohn's mother had died. The three children were already 18, 17 and 14, and had grown up believing that their father was the man with whom Liz had been married pro forma, to cover up her relationship with her boss.

He died on 3 October 2009 at the age of 88. He was survived by his second wife and his six children.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Start Business 1947 (refunded Bertelsmann after war destruction, became CEO)

Source Notes

Taeger IHL quotes magazine Meridian 4/1988


  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (second wife Liz Mohn 21 years younger)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (six, from two wives)
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Bertelsmann publishing)