Press release

Jürgen Leinemann receives the Henri Nannen Prize 2009 for his life's work

Hamburg, 05 May 2009 – Jürgen Leinemann receives the Henri Nannen Prize 2009 for his life's work

Gruner + Jahr publishers and stern magazine award the Henri Nannen Prize 2009 for journalistic life work to journalist and author, Jürgen Leinemann. The prize will be awarded at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg on May 8.

Jürgen Leinemann was born in Celle in 1937. He studied history, German language and literature and philosophy before he started his journalistic career at the Deutsche Presseagentur in Berlin, Hamburg and Washington. From 1972 onwards, he was reporter and office manager for SPIEGEL magazine in Washington and Bonn. In 1990, he moved to Berlin where he worked as head of the German politics department and later as an author.

As a sharp observer of the upper echelons of politics, he has gained intimate insight into the inner workings of politics. This has formed the basis for his precise personality profiles of top-ranking German politicians. He has portrayed the majority of the political elite in the Federal Republic of Germany, such as former chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Helmut Kohl, as well as Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Kurt Biedenkopf and Franz Josef Strauß, among others. Jürgen Leinemann has published several books, including the highly regarded title "Höhenrausch" (euphoria) which deals with the problem that politicians have of losing touch with reality. In his reports and portraits, he combines analytic sharpness with linguistic brilliance and a passionate campaign against the loss of touch with reality that occurs in politics, as well as the loss of substance in our democracy. He has contributed to several film productions and received various journalistic awards, including the Egon-Erwin-Kisch Prize in 1982, for which he was nominated again in 2008.

Says Andreas Petzold, stern editor-in-chief: "The work of Jürgen Leinemann is an example of outstanding high-quality journalism. His almost psychoanalytic slant on the people he portrays and writes about has added to his mastery of perceiving their limits. But despite his no-holds-barred opinions, this fastidious researcher and ruthless analyst has always played it fair. The Henri Nannen Prize expresses our admiration and recognition of Leinemann's life work."

This year marks the fifth time that the Henri Nannen Prize has been awarded. In addition to lifetime achievement and outstanding commitment to freedom of the press, the prize honors the best work in the categories reportage, investigation, documentation, humor and photo reportage. For the award, journalists submitted 948 articles from 208 print and online publications. The prize is worth a total value of 30,000 Euros.

For further information on the Henri Nannen Award, please visit

Your contact for further enquiries:
Susanne Hacker
Kommunikation Henri Nannen Preis
Gruner + Jahr AG
Phone: +49 (0)40-3703-2797