Kurt Mehlhorn studied 1968-1971 mathematics and computer science at the Technical University of Munich and received his doctorate in 1974 at Cornell University in Ithaca (New York) Robert Constable with the theme " Polynomial and Abstract Classes Subrecursive ". He then went to the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken and in 1975 was appointed professor. He is since 1990 director of the Max Planck Institute for computer science in Saarbrücken, and was from 2002 to 2008 Vice President of the Max Planck Society. He founded in 1995 together with Stefan and Christian Uhrig Nearer the Algorithmic Solutions Software GmbH, which deals among other things with the development and distribution of the software library LEDA (Library of Efficient Data Types and Algorithms ).
He married Ena Friedrichson 1972 and has three children.
Mehlhorn mainly deals with data structures, graph theory, algorithms, complexity theory and the creation of software libraries.
He was honored for his achievements together with Günter Hotz and Wolfgang Paul in 1987 with the Leibniz Prize.
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, German Research Foundation, 1987
- Humboldt Prize for German - French co-operation, 1989
- Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize, 1994
- Konrad -Zuse- Medal for services to the computer science, 1995
- Member of the Berlin -Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, 2001
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Magdeburg, 2002
- Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 2004
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo, 2006
- EATCS Award of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, 2010
- Paris Kanellakis Award, 2010
- Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea, 2014