Michael Schumacher was born on the third of January 1969 to Rolf and Elisabeth Schumacher.
The family move to the town of Kerpin-Manheim, a working class town near Cologne, Germany. It was there that the family became involved with karting. Michael, only four at the time was given a kart powered by an old lawn-mower engine by his father. From so humble a beginning was a World Champion's career launched. Karting became a family obsession fed by the resourcefulness of the elder Schumacher and the spirit of young Michael. Rolf Schumacher's mechanical ability led him to work part-time repairing other go-karts at the local track. In 1980 he traveled to Nivelles, Belgium for the World Karting Championship and saw a driver that impressed him deeply, that driver was Ayrton Senna. Michael was soon making a name for himself and in 1984 he won the German Junior Championship. The European championship came his way in 1987.The path to car racing started with Formula Ford or Formula Koenig as it was known in Germany. To compete at this level Schumacher would need sponsors and lucky for him several sponsors including Jurgen Dik had noticed the young German.His first full year competing in the series saw him win nine out of ten rounds. Willie Weber, his future manager, was running his own Formula Three team and gave Michael a test in one of his cars. After seven or eight laps he was setting times 1 1/2 seconds faster than Webber's regular driver. Schumacher's first year in Formula Three saw him competing against future Formula 1 drivers, Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Wendlinger eventually nosed out his compatriots for the title. The next year was all Schumacher. Instead of graduating to Formula 3000 Webber placed his young protégé in the Mercedes junior team driving a sports car for Sauber along with his former Formula Three rivals. Under the watchful eyes of Jochen Neerspasch and Jochen Mass he was schooled in the art of race car driving. During this period Schumacher learned much of what would later become his trademark smooth style. Opportunity arrived when Jordan's Formula One drive Bertrand Gachot found himself in jail and Schumacher was given a test with the Irish team.
'Al Capp,' by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen
New York Times
The cartoonist Al Capp, John Steinbeck wrote in 1952, “may very possibly be the best writer in the world today.” As Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen document in “Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary,” he could also be one of the most contentious.
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