Steinmeier was born in Detmold in 1956. After his abitur (secondary school exam) and his military service, he studied law in Gießen. In 1982, he passed his first exam. His second exam was completed and passed in 1986.[source?] Between 1986 to 1991, he worked as assistant to the Doctor of Public Law and Political Science at the Gießen University. He obtained his Doctorate of Law in 1991.
After 1991, he worked in the State Chancellory of Lower Saxony for the Minister-President, Gerhard Schröder. From 1998, he was Undersecretary of State in Gerhard Schröder's Chancellor Office after Schröder became Chancellor of Germany. In 1999 he became Secretary of State.
In 2005, he became the new Foreign Minister of Germany in the coalition cabinet of Angela Merkel. He became Vice Chancellor of Germany in 2007. In 2008 he was elected to be the chancellor wikt:candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) for the election in 2009. The SPD got their worst result ever in a German federal election (23.0%), and Steinmeier became leader of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag.
- Araloff, Simon (2005-10-14). ""Frank Walter Steinmeier — Curator of Germany's Secret Services Will Shape Foreign Policy". Global Challenges Research. http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=434. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- http://www.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin/hpi/veranstaltungen/china/slides/conference_binder.pdf "1986 - 1991 Academic assistant, Chair of Public Law and Political Science, Department of Law, Giessen University"