Pope Benedict XVI was born on April 16, 1927 in Bavaria as Josef Ratzinger. He was drafted into the German army at the age of 16, and he deserted from the army in 1945 to become an American prisoner of war.
He was ordained as a priest in 1951, was elevated to cardinal in 1977, and was granted the title of pope on April 19, 2005. He is one of few German popes and is also the oldest pope since Pope Clement XII.
Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his resignation effective February 28, 2013. He decided that he was no longer fit to serve due to poor health.