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Guðrún Katrín Þorbergsdóttir


Born 14 August 1934. Died 12 October 1998.


Guðrún Katrín Þorbergsdóttir was born in Reykjavík on 14 August 1934, the daughter of Guðrún S. Beck and Þorbergur  Friðriksson. Her siblings are Auður, a judge, Þór, an agronomist and Þorbergur, an engineer.


Guðrún Katrín matriculated from the Reykjavík Grammar School in 1955 and worked in the Natural Science Institute from 1955 to 1963. Between 1965 and 1972 she lived in Denmark and Sweden, studying Archaeology at the University of Gothenburg and later Sociology at the University of Iceland.


Guðrún Katrín served on the Seltjarnarnes City Council from 1978 to 1994. She was on the committee of Minjar og saga, the society of the Friends of the National Museum of Iceland, from 1991 until her death.


Guðrún Katrín was Manager of the Icelandic Postal Workers' Union from 1979 to 1996, with the exception of the years 1988-1991, during which she ran a knitting shop, Garn Gallerí, on Skólavörðustígur in Reykjavík. Guðrún Katrín was involved in knitwear design, and published knitting patterns in newspapers and magazines.


Guðrún Katrín played an active part in the 1996 presidential campaign, speaking at all the electioneering meetings that Ólafur Ragnar held. After her husband became President of Iceland, Guðrún Katrín dedicated her energies to supporting cultural and artistic ventures, welfare issues and the fight against drugs.


Guðrún Katrín was diagnosed with leukemia in autumn 1997, and died in Seattle, USA, after a heroic struggle against the disease, on 12 October 1998.


Guðrún Katrín married Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson in 1974 and they had two daughters (b. 1975), the twins Guðrún Tinna, a graduate in Business Studies, and Svanhildur Dalla, a graduate both in Political Science and Law. Guðrún Katrín's daughters from her former marriage are Erla Þórarinsdóttir, an artist, b. 1955, and Þóra Þórarinsdóttir, a teacher, b. 1960.