Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, he was elected to lead the Catholic Church in 2005 and in 2013, he became the first pope to resign since the 1400s. Before he was Pope he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which, among its other duties, handled all reports of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
He grew up in Traunstein, Germany, and was a conscripted member of the Hitler Youth despite his family's resentment of the Nazi Party. He was ordained as a priest in his native Bavaria in 1951.
He was drafted into the German army in WWII, but an infection in his finger kept him away from the front lines.
His parents, Maria and Joseph Ratzinger, Sr. were harassed by Nazis. He returned home in 1945 after deserting his unit, but was arrested by Americans who had established a camp in his house and sent to a POW camp.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was his favorite composer.