(b. 12 Jan. 1893, d. 15 Oct. 1946).
German Nazi leader A successful fighter pilot during World War I, he became the commander of Baron von Richthofen's fighter-plane squadron. Goering joined the Nazi Party in 1922 and was wounded during the Hitler Putsch of 1923, though he managed to escape to Austria. He returned in 1926, and became an MP in 1928 and Speaker of parliament in 1932. In 1933 he became Minister without Portfolio and also Minister President of Prussia, a position which he used to crush all opposition to Hitler within the state. His responsibilities included the rearmament of the air force (Luftwaffe), becoming supreme commander in 1935. In 1936, he was put in charge of the economy and was responsible for carrying out Hitler's orders to prepare it for war within four years. Though immensely influential and considered Hitler's natural successor in the early years of the Third Reich, he lost influence during the war. The air force failed to prevent incessant air raids on German cities, though this did little to diminish his pomposity or his drug addiction. He was sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials but committed suicide before his execution.