Tenhagen grew up in Hamminkeln - Havelich on the Lower Rhine. After graduating from high school, which he completed in 1982 at the Konrad -Duden -Gymnasium Wesel, Tenhagen completed his community service in the monastery house near Aspel Rees. First experience in journalism, he gained as a freelancer for the Rheinische Post.
From 1984 to 1986 Tenhagen studied political science, economics, literature and pedagogy at the Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelm University in Bonn. From 1987 to 1988 he spent a year at a graduate school of the Baptist Baylor University in Waco, Texas in the United States. At the Free University of Berlin Tenhagen received his diploma in political science.
From 1988 to 1990 he worked among others as an intern and freelancer for the Associated Press. 1990 was Hermann -Josef Tenhagen briefly returned to North Rhine -Westphalia; during this time he worked for local radio stations in Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen -Buer. From 1991 to 1994 worked as Tenhagen environment editor for the daily newspaper ( taz) in Berlin. In 1992 he founded the department " Economy and Environment " with. Then he took leave a year from the taz to as speaker of the "Climate Forum '95" - to organize the activities of non-governmental organizations during the first World Climate Summit in Berlin in 1995 - the Joint Coordination and Information German environmental organizations. From 1995 to 1998 Tenhagen worked again at the taz; this time as head of " economy and the environment " and the last two years as deputy editor. He currently serves on the board of the cooperative taz. In 1998 Tenhagen as news director for Badische Zeitung in Freiburg im Breisgau. He remained there only a year before he joined in 1999 as editor of the journal financial test, the largest independent consumer - finance magazine in Germany.
Hermann -Josef Tenhagen, as the successor of Hubertus Primus member of the jury of the Helmut Schmidt Prize for Journalism in 2012.
- 2008: Second place Journalist of the Year in the business category.
" Jury: ... because he barely understood it as another one of the many financial experts to explain the crash of the market with skilful yet understandable terms. His calm and convincing analysis that made him one of the most sought-after financial experts in the autumn of 2008, contributed significantly to the fact that a bank panic could be avoided. "
- 2009: Second place as an economic journalist of the year in the editorial board of the magazine business journalist.
- Agricultural Alliance (Editor): Agriculture 98 - The Critical Agricultural Report, 1998, ISBN 3-930413-15-9
- Blum, Mechthild / Nesseler, Thomas ( Editor): Era end - time reversal, 1999, ISBN 3-7930-9217-8
- Stiftung Warentest (Editor): Sure invest in the crisis, December 2008, ISBN 978-3-86851-307-3
- Who schlunzt, PR makes in: network recherche Workshop, Volume 5 Critical Business Journalism, Wiesbaden, May 2007
- Reckinger, Gabriele / Wolff, Volker (Eds. ): Financial journalism, Konstanz, April 2011, ISBN 978-3-86764-253-8