Lars Johan Hierta

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Lars Johan Hierta

Lars Johan Hierta (Swedish: [ˈlɑːʂ ²juːan ²jæʈːa]; 22 January 1801 – 20 November 1872) was a Swedish newspaper publisher, social critic, businessman and politician. He is best known as the founder of the newspaper Aftonbladet in 1830. Hierta was a leading agitator for political and social reform in Sweden during the 19th century. He is sometimes credited as the "father of the free press" in Sweden.


Hierta was born to a noble family in Uppsala, Sweden, as the son of Carl Didrik Hierta and Hedvig Johanna Schméer. He received his primary education at a private school and began his studies at Uppsala University in 1814, where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy and a Candidate of Law in 1821. In the same year he was employed as an unpaid trainee at the central government agency Bergskollegium, where he was promoted as a law clerk in 1825.

At the Riksdag of the Estates of 1823, Hierta served as a secretary at the Swedish House of Lords. At the following Estates Assembly, from 1828 to 1830, he was a representative of the nobility and also served as a law clerk. In the Riksdag, Hierta aligned himself with the liberal opposition critical of the conservative rule of King Charles XIV John. In 1830, Hierta advocated for a republic in the Aftonbladet (though without using the word "republic"), which is sometimes seen as the start of the Swedish republican movement.

Hierta started writing for Conservationsbladet in 1823. He also wrote for the papers Argus from 1824 to 1826 and, sporadically, Stockholmsposten from 1826 to 1828. He started writing as a humourist, later as a news writer and political editorialist.

In 1829, Hierta started the book publishing house Hiertas bokförlag ("Hierta's Publishing House").

In 1839 Lars Johan Hierta founded a candle factory still active today by the name of Liljeholmens Stearinfabriks AB.

At the time of his death, Hierta was one of the wealthiest persons in Sweden.[1] Of his fortunes, his widow Vilhelmina Fröding donated 100,000 SEK to Stockholm University for the establishment of a professorship in economics, and 400,000 to the foundation Lars Hiertas minne ("Lars Hierta's Memory").

Statue of Lars Johan Hierta at Riddarhustorget in Gamla stan, Stockholm.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wieselgren, Harald (1880). Lars Johan Hierta : biografisk studie (in Swedish). Stockholm: Linnström.
  • Hierta, Lars Johan (1901). Sjelf-biografiska anteckningar (in Swedish). Stockholm: Harald Wieselgren.
  • Kihlberg, Leif (1968). Lars Hierta i helfigur (in Swedish). Stockholm: Bonnier.
  • Lönnroth, Ami; Mattsson, Per Eric (1996). Tidningskungen : Lars Johan Hierta : den förste moderne svensken (in Swedish). Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand. ISBN 91-46-16938-5.


  1. ^ Wirén, Karl-Hugo. "Hierta, Lars Johan". Nationalencyklopedin. Höganäs: Bra Böcker. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links[edit]