Born in Opole, Upper Silesia, Zeller attended the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 1977 to 1992, he was employed at the university library as a research associate. From 1996 to 2006, he served as mayor of the Berlin borough of Mitte.
In April 2012, Zeller was one of 28 EP politicians who voted against a move to restrict the export of spy gear and censorship tools to autocratic regimes.
- "Who Voted Against Restricting Sales of Spy Tech to Dictators? These European Politicians". Slate.com. 19 April 2012.
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