Hugo Stinnes, the son of a mine owner, was born in Mulheim, Germany, on 22 February, 1870. At the age of twenty he inherited his father's substantial business interests.
In 1893 Stinnes founded his own company. Profits from the production and distribution of coal were invested in the steel industry. He also became heavily involved in the Ruhr's power, gas and water utilities. During the First World War Stinnes was one of the main suppliers of the raw materials needed by Germany for war production.
Stinnes held right-wing views and in 1919 he joined with Alfred Hugenberg to establish the German Nationalist Party (DNVP). The following year he was elected to the Reichstag. Stinnes, the owner of more than 60 newspapers, used these to attack the Versailles Treaty.
Hugo Stinnes died in Berlin, on 10th April, 1924.