In his acceptance speech, Mr Steinmeier, 61, said that Germany should be an "anchor of hope".
With his snowy white hair, round glasses and dimpled smile, Steinmeier is one of Germany's best-known politicians, having twice served as top diplomat under Merkel for a total of seven years.
Regarding his profile and leadership, Steinmeier stands out for his pragmatism with the media and his recent harsh statements against his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, which he described as a 'hate preacher'.
Former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been elected Germany's president.
Many people see Mr Steinmeier as the most popular poltician in Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited German President-elect Fank-Walter Steinmeier to visit Moscow soon.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk congratulated Steinmeier on his election. Steinmeier succeeds Joachim Gauck, a 77-year-old former pastor and East German pro-democracy activist who did not seek a second five-year term because of his age. He is known for his efforts trying to mediate the crisis in Ukraine.
The German newspaper said the decision to back the Social Democratic candidate had not come easy to Christian Democratic Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces a tight race for chancellorship with SPD's frontrunner Martin Schulz this fall.
"For Germany's Social Democrats, Steinmeier's election is a prelude to something bigger to come: a victory in Sept's elections against Merkel", said Broening. He also served as vice chancellor from 2007 to 2009.
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