The fifth President of the Republic of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was born on 14 May 1943. He was first elected President in 1996, then again in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Ólafur Ragnar took his BA degree in Economics and Political Science at the University of Manchester in 1965 and completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the same university in 1970. In 1973 he was appointed the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He is the author of a large number of academic articles that have appeared in both Icelandic and overseas periodicals.
Ólafur Ragnar was a member of the Young Progressives from 1966 to 1973 and was on the executive committee of the Progressive Party in the years 1971-1973. In 1974 he stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal-Left Alliance, taking a seat in the Alþingi as a deputy member in 1974 and 1975. From 1978 to 1983, Ólafur Ragnar served in the Alþingi as the People's Alliance member for Reykjavík, and as the same party's member for Reykjanes from 1991 to 1996. He was editor of the newspaper Þjóðviljinn from 1983 to 1985, and was elected Leader of the People's Alliance from 1987-1995. In the years 1988-1991 he was Minister of Finance in a government headed by Steingrímur Hermannsson.
For several years, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was a member of the Parlamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and he was Chairman and later President of the international organization Parliamentarians for Global Action from 1984 to 1990, serving on its council until 1996.
Among many international awards he has received is the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize which he received on behalf of PGA. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Ås (Norway) in 1997, the University of Manchester in 2001, by The State University of Ohio in 2009, by Laval University (Québec) in 2015 and by Kookmin University in Seoul also in 2015.
On 14 November 1974, he married Guðrún Katrín Þorbergsdóttir (b. 14 August 1934, d. 12 October 1998). On 14 May 2003, he married Dorrit Moussaieff (b. 12 January 1950).
Access to the web site of the President's Office during Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson's time as President.