Biography Philanthropists

Johanna Quandt

Johanna Quandt
Johanna Quandt.jpg
Born Johanna Maria Bruhn
21 June 1926
Berlin, Germany
Died 3 August 2015 (aged 89)
Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany
Nationality German
Net worth US$13.9 billion (August 2015)[1]
Spouse(s) Herbert Quandt (m. 1960-82)
Children Stefan Quandt
Susanne Klatten

Johanna Maria Quandt (née Bruhn; 21 June 1926 – 3 August 2015) was a business woman and the widow of German industrialist Herbert Quandt, who resurrected BMW from bankruptcy. When she died in 2015 she was the 8th richest person in Germany (and the richest German woman), 77th richest person in the world, and the 11th richest woman worldwide according to Forbes.[2][3]

Career at BMW[edit]

Johanna Bruhn became a secretary in her future husband’s office in the 1950s and eventually became his personal assistant. The two married in 1960. After his death in 1982, she was a major shareholder in BMW and sat on its supervisory board from 1982 until she retired in 1997. Much of that time she served as deputy chairwoman of the board.[3] She owned 16.7% of BMW at the time of her death.

Personal life[edit]

The two children of her marriage, Stefan and Susanne, are also substantial shareholders in BMW and now sit on the supervisory board of the company. Police prevented an attempt to kidnap her and her daughter Susanne Klatten in 1978.[4] Johanna lived quietly in Bad Homburg.

A programme by the German public broadcaster, ARD, in October 2007 described in detail the role of the Quandt family businesses during the Second World War. As a result, four family members announced, on behalf of the entire Quandt family, their intention to fund a research project in which a historian will examine the family’s activities during Hitler’s dictatorship.[5]

As of August 2014, the Quandt family is estimated to be worth $46.3 billion.[6] Johanna Quandt died at the age of 89 in her home in Bad Homburgnear Frankfurt am Main.[7]

She created the foundation, Johanna Quandt Stiftung, to provide training for aspiring business journalists. The foundation also provides prizes for outstanding business journalism.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ #77 Johanna Quandt.; retrieved 5 August 2015
  2. Jump up^ “Johanna Quandt”Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Ewing, Jack (7 August 2015). “Johanna Quandt, 89, a Force in the Family Behind BMW”The New York Times.
  4. Jump up^ “BMW billionaire heiress Johanna Quandt dies”Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  5. Jump up^ Description of the 2007 ARD programmeDer Spiegel; accessed 7 August 2015. (in German)
  6. Jump up^ The World’s Billionaires: Germany., retrieved 5 August 2015
  7. Jump up^ Johanna Quandt, Billionaire Matriarch of BMW Clan, Dies at 89., retrieved 5 August 2015