Karl Albrecht

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Karl Albrecht
Born Karl Hans Albrecht
(1920-02-20) 20 February 1920 (age 94)
Essen, Germany
Residence Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany[1]
Ethnicity German
Citizenship German
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Co-founder of Aldi
Net worth IncreaseUS$25.4 billion (2012)[1]
Religion Catholic[2][3]
Spouse(s) Married[1]
Children Two[1]
Relatives Theo Albrecht
(brother, deceased)
Theo Albrecht, Jr (nephew)
Berthold Albrecht (nephew, deceased)

Karl Hans Albrecht (born 20 February 1920) is a German entrepreneur who founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo. As of October 2012, Albrecht is listed as one of the richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of US$22.6 billion.[4] Previously, Forbes listed him as one of richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth in 2011 of US$25.4 billion, which ranks him 10th in its 2012 list of billionaires – making him the oldest billionaire in the Top 20 list.[1] Albrecht is the richest person in Germany, and the fourth-richest in Europe.[5]


Karl and Theo Albrecht were born and raised in modest circumstances in Essen, Germany. Their father was employed as a miner and later as a baker’s assistant. Their mother had a small grocery store in the worker’s quarter of Schonnebeck, a suburb of Essen. Theo completed an apprenticeship in his mother’s store, while Karl worked in a delicatessen shop. Karl also served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. After the war, the brothers took over their mother's business.[6] The first Aldi (Albrecht-Discount) was opened in 1961.[citation needed]

In 1961, Aldi's operations were divided between the brothers, with Karl taking control of the more profitable Aldi Süd (South), and Theo managing Aldi Nord (North).[6]

Aldi in Europe, (blue = north, orange = south)

In 1994, Karl Albrecht removed himself from the daily operations of Aldi Süd and took the position of chairman of the board. At the beginning of 2002, he also relinquished this position, thereby completely ceding control of the firm. Today, the business is no longer run by any of Karl Albrecht’s family members.

Personal life[edit]

Little is known about Karl Albrecht, a very reclusive man who has not taken part in public life for several years. Forbes magazine reports that he has two children, neither of whom is employed by Aldi. He reportedly lives in Essen, as did his brother Theo until the latter's death. He is a fan of golf, and plays at his personal golf course, the Öschberghof, which he built in 1976. He also raises orchids.[6] It is rumored that he collects antique typewriters and has made a take-over bid for Leeds United.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The World's Billionaires (2012): No. 10 Karl Albrecht". Forbes. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ The Atlantic Times
  3. ^ Secretive Aldi family announce death of main heir to £11billion supermarket fortune
  4. ^ "Bloomberg Billionares Index". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The World's Billionaires (2010): 1 – 24". Forbes. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Karl Albrecht's Profile page". Forbes. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 

External links[edit]