Professor Hirth was born in Wilhelmshaven in 1963. After serving as a regular soldier in the navy, he studied in Kiel and Cologne, graduating with a degree in business administration and economics. In 1994 he received his doctorate at the University of Cologne, in 1996/97 he was a substitute professor at the University of Bonn and in 1999 he completed his habilitation at the University of Tübingen. Subsequently, Professor Hirth accepted a call to the University of Greifswald for a professorship in general business administration with a focus on internal corporate accounting and controlling. He declined a call to the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim for a professorship in business administration, especially banking and financial services, and accepted a call to the TU Berlin in 2002.