Helmut Ortner was born in 1950 in Gendorf/Upper Bavaria and grew up in Frankfurt-Höchst. He completed an apprenticeship as a typesetter and then studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach am Main. Afterwards he trained as a journalist: editor, editor-in-chief (e.g. Journal Frankfurt, Prinz). Since 1998 he has worked as a freelance print media developer with an office in Frankfurt. He has developed concepts and relaunches for more than 100 national and international magazines and newspapers, including magazines such as Focus and Cicero, as well as daily and weekly newspapers, including Das Parlament, Jüdische Allgemeine, Frankfurter Rundschau, De Lloyd Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Allgemeine Zeitung, Wiesbadener Kurier, Darmstädter Echo. He has received more than 40 awards for his work as a media developer (e.g. European Newspaper Award, CP Award Gold).
In addition he has written numerous books, which have been translated into 14 languages to date. His latest publications are "Wenn der Staat tötet - Eine Geschichte über die Todesstrafe" ("When the State Kills - A Story about the Death Penalty", 2017) and "Dumme Wut, kluger Zorn" ("Foolish Rage, Clever Anger", 2018). At the invitation of the Goethe-Institut he goes on reading tours to South America, Havana, Istanbul, and Tokyo. Helmut Ortner lives and works in Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt.
- Dumme Wut, kluger Zorn. Frankfurt, 2018
- Wenn der Staat tötet – Eine Geschichte der Todesstrafe. Darmstadt, 2017
- Gnadenlos Deutsch (Fünf Dossiers). Frankfurt, 2016
- Fremde Feinde – Sacco & Vanzetti – Ein Justizmord. Frankfurt, 2015
- Der Hinrichter – Roland Freisler, Mörder im Dienste Hitlers (reissue). Frankfurt, 2014
- Politik ohne Gott – Wie viel Religion verträgt unsere Demokratie? (ed. with Stefana Sabin). Springe, 2014
- Der einsame Attentäter – Georg Elser, der Mann der Hitler töten wollte. Darmstadt, 2013
- Hitlers Schatten – Deutsche Reportagen (ed.). Gerlingen, 2000
- Thema: Kriminalpolitik – Krisen-Management oder neuer Aufbruch? (ed. with Bernd Maelicke). Baden-Baden, 1991