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Berthold Leibinger (* 26 November 1930 in Stuttgart, Germany) is a German engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is founder of the non-profit foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung and Associate of the German company Trumpf.
Born in Stuttgart, Berthold Leibinger graduated with Abitur(General Certificate of Education) at the Ulrich-von-Hutten Gymnasium in Korntal in 1950. He started an apprenticeship as a mechanic at Trumpf and then studied mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart. After graduating with a Diplom he became a development engineer in 1958 at Cincinnati Milling Machines (today: Milacron) in Cincinnati (USA). In 1961 he returned to Germany and to Trumpf as head of engineering division. In 1968 he developed the first contour nibbling machine tool with numerical control. The owner of the company, Christian Trumpf, having no children, named Leibinger as his successor. Leibinger successively took over shares of the company and served as President from 1978 to 2005. On 18 November 2005, he retired from management and became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Trumpf Group until the end of 2012.
Entrepreneurial and engineering achievements
Under the management of Berthold Leibinger Trumpf became one of the world’s largest manufacturer of machine tools, in particular due to the consequent combination of mechanics and electronics. Trumpf is also one of the largest manufacturers of industrial laser technology and machines for laser cutting.
Berthold Leibinger has been appointed to several important political and economical positions. From 1985 to 1990 he was President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and from 1989 to 1992 he served as President of the German Association of Machinery Manufacturers VDMA. He was a member of the supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank and BMW among other companies. From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the chemical company BASF. Berthold Leibinger was Counselor of the Federal State Government of Baden-Württemberg from 1994 to 2005.
Cultural and Social Dedication
Berthold Leibinger is a philanthropist with long lasting involvement in German culture. He is personally involved as Chairman of the Board of the Schiller-Nationalmuseum and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach am Neckar. He is also Senator of the German Academy of Science and Engineering.
In 1992 Berthold Leibinger founded the non-profit foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. It is dedicated to cultural, scientific, religious and social issues. Since the year 2000, it awards the internationally respected Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis and, since 2006, the Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis (research prize) for applied laser technology.
In July 1990, in a motion brought forward by the Faculty of Engineering and Manufacturing Technology, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. degree as "Doctor of Engineering" by the Council of the Technical University of Stuttgart (Universität Stuttgart). In January 1996, the Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg conferred upon him the honorary title of Professor. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation awarded him with the Prize for Social Market Economy in November 2003. In October 2006 the president of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him the Knight Commander’s Cross (Badge and Star) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz). In December 2006 the Werner-von-Siemens-Ring Stiftung [Foundation] awarded him Germany’s most important technology award, the Werner von Siemens Ring. In November 2007 the Aktions-gemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft [Society Social Market Economy] awarded him with the Alexander-Rüstow-Plakette. In June 2008 he was awarded the Deutscher Gründerpreis and in 2011 the Arthur L. Schawlow Award des Laser Institute of America. In 2016 he was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. 
- Consulate General of Japan in Munich: Order and Awards
- Translation from German Wikipedia entry