Born 20 February 1920 (1920-02-20) (age 90)
Occupation Entrepreneur, owns Aldi Süd
Net worth ▲US$23.5 billion (2010)
Karl Hans Albrecht (born 20 February 1920) is a German entrepreneur who founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo. He is among the richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth in 2010 of $23.5 billion according to Forbes, which ranks him 10th in its 2010 world rich list. Albrecht is the wealthiest man in Germany.
Aldi in Europe, (blue = north, orange = south)Karl and Theo Albrecht were 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 German Army during World War II. After the end of World War II, the brothers took over their mother's business (1946). The first Aldi (Albrecht-Discount) was opened in 1961.
Aldi's operations were later divided between the brothers, with Karl taking control of the more profitable Aldi Süd (South), and Theo managing Aldi Nord (North).
Because Karl Albrecht has withdrawn himself from public life, little is known about him. Forbes magazine reports that he has two children, neither of whom are employed by Aldi. He reportedly lives in Essen, as did his brother Theo until his 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. It is rumored that he collects antique typewriters.
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.