Claus Kleber

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Claus Kleber
Claus Kleber 2008.jpg
Claus Kleber in July 2008
Born (1955-09-02) 2 September 1955 (age 63)
OccupationJournalist, news presenter
Years active1986–present
Notable credit(s)
heute-journal (2003-present)
Salary€600,000 (2008)[1]

Claus Kleber (born 2 September 1955 in Reutlingen) is a German journalist and former lawyer. He anchors heute journal, an evening news program on ZDF, one of Germany's two major public TV stations. He is also known for his expertise in United States politics and German-American relations, as evidenced by his 2005 bestseller Amerikas Kreuzzüge ("America's Crusades").

Early life[edit]

Claus Kleber was born in Reutlingen, Germany. He attended the Otto Hahn Gymnasium in Bergisch Gladbach, completing his Abitur in 1974. During his schooling, Kleber freelanced as a local reporter for the newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. From 1974, he studied law at the University of Tübingen, spending two semesters abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1978 and 1979. In the autumn of 1980, Kleber passed his first Staatsexamen in law: this was followed by further training in Stuttgart. In 1983 he completed his second Staatsexamen, followed by extended dissertation research stays in New York City and Washington, D.C., for which he was awarded scholarships from Studienstiftung and DAAD. After this, he worked as a lawyer for a law firm in Stuttgart, specialising in commercial law and competition law. In 1986, he completed his PhD in law under Thomas Oppermann at the University of Tübingen.


After completing his PhD, Kleber became a journalist. He started building his reputation during the 1980s as a Washington correspondent for Deutschlandfunk (DLF), a German public radio station.

In the spring of 1989, Kleber returned to Germany as Chief Editor of RIAS Berlin, the city’s most influential radio station. There, he was on location for the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and brought eyewitness accounts of the crumbling Soviet Empire to Germany.

In 1990, Kleber returned for another twelve years to Washington as a Senior Correspondent and Bureau Chief for ARD, one of the two nationwide German public television networks (the other being ZDF, where he currently works).[2] During his time in the US, he set high standards in international reporting and consequently gained a reputation as one of his country’s most influential foreign policy journalists. He has reported from all fifty states in the US, and covered, met and interviewed every American president since Ronald Reagan as well as the most influential members of the George W. Bush administration, including President Bush himself as well as secretaries Condoleezza Rice,[3] Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell.

In June 2002, Kleber moved to London as ARD Bureau Chief.[4] Only a few months into the new job, he received an offer from ZDF to become managing editor and principal anchor of heute journal,[5] one of Germany's leading television news programs. In 2014, he interviewed US President Barack Obama[6] and Hillary Clinton.[7]

Kleber is also a documentary filmmaker. With his long-standing professional partner, Angela Andersen, he has created many documentary films, including the award-winning America, Almighty (2003), Peoples of the Orient (2003), Minefield Afghanistan (2004) and India – Unstoppable (2006).[8]

In 2009 the film-making duo started putting an emphasis on the big issues of our age:

  • the renewed threat of nuclear weapons in the 21st century in The Bomb (2009),[9] a 3-part-documentary.
  • global strategic consequences of climate change in Machtfaktor Erde (2011), a 2-part documentary.
  • the global struggle to provide for ten billion people in 2050 in HUNGER! and DURST! (thirst),[10] a 2-part documentary (2014).

Since 2015, Claus Kleber also works as an Honorary Professor at his alma mater, the University of Tübingen.[11]


Kleber's best-selling book Amerikas Kreuzzüge ("America's crusades") won the 2005 Corine Literature Prize for best non-fiction work.[12] Shortly before the 2008 presidential election, Kleber published an updated edition with his views on the candidates. In 2012 Kleber published Spielball Erde about global strategic consequences of Climate Change, which turned into another bestseller. In Germany, it was the first book to inform the general public about issues of "Climate Change and International Security" (CCIS).

2017: "Brave New World - How Silicon Valley is shaping our future" "Silver World Medal" New York Film Festival 2017, nominated "Beste Dokumentation" TV Festival Monte Carlo, Special Selection "Science Film Fesival"


Kleber is the recipient of several awards, including the Media prize of the Johanna Quandt Foundation (1998) for excellence in economic reporting,[13] the RIAS Berlin committee TV prize (1997, 1999 and 2003), and the Deutscher Fernsehpreis (the German equivalent of the American Emmy) in 2005,[14] 2006 and 2013[15] (heute journal as best German news program). Claus Kleber and his ZDF partner anchor Marietta Slomka were awarded the prestigious Grimme Prize in 2009 for their merits on the evolution of television.[16] In 2010, he won the Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Award for Outstanding Journalism.[17] His work in documentaries on global challenges (with Angela Andersen) received the Deutscher Fernsehpreis for The Bomb in 2009[18] and the Bayerischer Fernsehpreis for HUNGER! DURST! in 2015.[19] In a 2018 survey conducted by Forsa Institute, he was voted Germany's most trusted news presenter.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Claus Kleber has been married to Renate Kleber, a physician, since 1982. They have two daughters and the family lives in Wiesbaden, Germany.


  • Kleber, Claus (2008) [2005]. Amerikas Kreuzzüge. Wohin treibt die Weltmacht? (in German) (eight and updated ed.). München: C. Bertelsmann Verlag. ISBN 978-3-570-55001-4.
  • Kleber, Claus and Paskal, Cleo (2012). Spielball Erde. Machtkämpfe im Klimawandel. (in German) (original ed.). München: C. Bertelsmann Verlag. ISBN 978-3-570-10134-6.[21]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "ZDF verdoppelt Gehalt von Claus Kleber". 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  2. ^ "DAAD - Claus Kleber". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  3. ^ Interview: Claus Kleber and Condoleezza Rice at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
  4. ^ "Stabwechsel im ARD-Studio Washington: Claus Kleber und Bernd Schröder gehen, Tom Buhrow und Georg Schwarte kommen / WDR übernimmt Federführung". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  5. ^ ""Soll das etwa eine Karriere sein?" - Medien - Tagesspiegel". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  6. ^ "Obama Confronts German NSA Skepticism in TV Interview But Doubts Remain". TechPresident. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  7. ^ "Clinton Discusses Balance of Privacy and Security, Snowden, in German TV Interview". TechPresident. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  8. ^ DVD details from
  9. ^ "America, the Baleful". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  10. ^ "Claus Kleber als Elends-Reporter: "Bloß nicht barmherziger Ritter spielen"". Spiegel Online. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  11. ^ "Institut für Medienwissenschaft - Kleber, Claus, Prof. Dr". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  12. ^ "CORINE 2005 | Preisträger". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  13. ^ "Johanna-Quandt-Stiftung". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  14. ^ Borcholte, Andreas (2005-10-17). "Deutscher Fernsehpreis: Es geht doch!". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  15. ^ "Deutscher Fernsehpreis 2013: Alle Kategorien, alle Gewinner". Spiegel Online. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  16. ^ "Grimme-Preis | Besondere Ehrung". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  17. ^ "Claus Kleber erhält Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Preis". Welt Online. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  18. ^ "Preisträger 2009". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  19. ^ "Wirtschaftsministerium Bayern" (PDF). Wirtschaftsministerium Bayern. Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft und Medien, Energie und Technologie. Retrieved Oct 7, 2015.
  20. ^ Vertrauenswürdigster Nachrichtenmoderator ist Claus Kleber Der Tagesspiegel, March 21, 2018.
  21. ^ "Claus Kleber, Cleo Paskal: Spielball Erde. C. Bertelsmann Verlag". Verlagsgruppe Random House. Retrieved 2015-10-07.