Minister-President of Bavaria from October 2007 to October 2008. He is unique in that he is a Protestant and from the northern half of Bavaria, while traditionally Minister-Presidents have been Catholics from the southern half.
He studied Law and earned his Ph.D. from Erlangen-Nurnberg University.
He also served as the Interior Minister of Bavaria from 1993 to 2007.
He married teacher Marga Beckstein in 1973.
He barred publication of the Adolf Hitler autobiography Mein Kampf in Germany for fear that it would inspire more right-wing uprisings.