Norbert Barthle was born on 1 February 1952 as the fourth child of a middle-class family in Schwäbisch Gmünd-Bettringen and is Roman Catholic. Since 1986, he has been married to Susanne Barthle, née Mast; they have two sons, Julian (21) and Jonas (17).
After his military service, he studied German, sport and philosophy in Tübingen, and taught at Gmünd Parler grammar school from 1981 to 1990. Thereafter he moved to the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Württemberg where he worked for 8 years, including 6 years as press spokesman, most recently for the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Annette Schavan. Since 27 September 1998, Norbert Barthle has been the directly elected Member of the German Bundestag representing the constituency of Backnang/Schwäbisch Gmünd. From 2009 to 2015 he was spokesman on budgetary policy of the parliamentary group of the CDU/CSU in the German Bundestag. Since 11 February 2015 Norbert Barthle is Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.