Petra Karin Kelly (29 November 1947, Günzburg, Bavaria – 1 October 1992) was a German politician and activist. She was instrumental in founding the German Green Party, the first Green party to rise to prominence worldwide.
Kelly was born in Günzburg, Bavaria (then American Occupation Zone, Germany), in 1947, as Petra Karin Lehmann. She changed her name to Kelly after her mother married a US Army officer. She was educated in a Roman Catholic convent in Günzburg and later attended school in Georgia and Virginia after her family relocated to the United States in 1959. She lived and studied in the United States until her return to West Germany in 1970. She retained her (West) German citizenship throughout her life.
An admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr., she campaigned for Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 U.S. elections. She studied political science at the School of International Service at American University (Washington, DC), from which she graduated in 1970. She graduated from the European Institute at the University of Amsterdam in 1971.
While working at the European Commission (Brussels, Belgium, 1971–83), she participated in numerous peace and environmental campaigns in Germany and other countries.