1977 Publication of a collection of essays entitled "Einmischung erwünscht. Schriften und Reden zur Zeit" ('A Plea for Meddling. Writings and talks on contemporary issues'. In May, the film adaptation of "Gruppenbils mit Dame" (Group Portrait with Lady) is released. Romy Schneider stars in the role of Leni Gruyten, but the adaptation by Aleksandar Petrović is generally reviewed very negatively. On the 5th of September, the President of the "Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände" (Federal Association of Employers' Associations) and the "Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie" (Federal Association of German Industry) Hanns-Martin Schleyer is kidnapped. His driver and three bodyguards are murdered. At the request of the government of Baden-Württemberg, Heinrich Albertz, Heinrich Böll, Helmut Gollwitzer and Kurt Scharf issue an appeal to the kidnappers, circulated by the press agencies on the 11th of September. On September 13th, a meeting takes place between the leader of the SPD, Willy Brandt, and Heinrich Böll, which is meant to be a demonstration of Brandt's solidarity with Böll. On the 27th of September 1977, the apartment of Böll's son René is searched. A few days later, the former residence of the Bölls, from which they moved in 1969, is also searched. On the 16th of December, the city council of Cologne gives a reception to celebrate Böll's sixtieth birthday.
1978 For the film "Deutschland im Herbst" (Germany in Autumn), Böll writes a scene called "Die verschobene Antigone" (The Delayed Antigone). Directed by Volker Schlöndorff, it satirizes the behavior of the media.
1979 The novel "Fürsorgliche Belagerung" (The Safety Net) is published. At the opening of the Cologne Central Library on the 21st of September, Böll presents the City with his archive as a permanent loan. The publishing house Lamuv - managed by René Böll - brings out "Du fährst zu oft nach Heidelberg und andere Erählungen" (Too Many Trips to Heidelberg and Other Stories). Böll declines to receive the order of the Federal Republic of Germany from President Scheel. During a December trip to Ecuador, Böll sufferes a vascular condition in the right leg necessitating an operation in that country.
1980 Upon delayed return to Germany, Böll undergoes a further operation. Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visits him afterward in the hospital.
1981 Böll publishes by Lamuv his only lengthy autobiographical work: "Was soll aus dem Jungen bloß werden? Oder: Irgendwas mit Büchern" (What's to Become of the Boy? Or: Something to do with Books) On the 10th of October, Böll addresses the first great peace demonstration in Bonn, at which about 300,000 people take part.
1982 "Vermintes Gelände - essayistische Reden und Schriften 1977-1981" (Minefield - essays and speeches 1977-1981) is published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Lamuv brings out the hitherto unpublished early post-war story "Das Vermächtnis" (A Soldier's Legacy). The Bölls leave Hülchrather Street and move to Merten. Böll's son Raimund dies.
1983 Lamuv brings out a volume of hitherto unpublished short stories written between 1946 and 1951 under the title "Die Verwundung" (The Wound). In poor health, Böll takes part in the blockade of an American barracks as a protest of the stationing of Pershing rockets.
1984 A collection of speeches and essays from 1981-1983 entitled "Ein- und Zusprüche" (Protest and Encouragement) is published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Böll publishes by Lamuv a book about the language of Helmut Kohl government's official spokesman Peter Boenisch, entitled "Bild, Bonn, Boenisch". Cologne purchases Böll's literary estate.
1985 In early July, Böll enters the hospital for an operation. On the 15 of July, he is discharged in preparation for a further operation. On the morning of the 16th of July, however, he dies peacefully in his house in Langenbroich, with his wife at his side. On the 19th of July, he is buried in the cemetary in Bornheim-Merten. Colleagues such as Günter Grass and politicians, including the President of the Federal Republic, Richard von Weizsäcker, attend the funeral. The novel "Frauen vor Flusslandschaft" (Women in a River Landscape) appears posthumously. On the 27th of September, the City of Cologne organizes a ceremony to honor Heinrich Böll, at which the square in front of the Museum Ludwig near the Cathedral is named after him.