Ole Kirk Christiansen

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Ole Kirk Christiansen
Born (1891-04-07)7 April 1891
Filskov, South Jutland, Denmark
Died 11 March 1958(1958-03-11) (aged 66)
Billund, Denmark
Occupation Carpenter
Known for Founding the Lego company.
Spouse(s) Kirstine Christiansen
(m. 1916–1932; her death)
Children 4 (including Godtfred)

Ole Kirk Christiansen (7 April 1891 – 11 March 1958) was the founder of the Danish construction toy company the LEGO Group.

Christiansen was born in Filskov, South Jutland, Denmark, the 10th son of an impoverished family in Jutland.[citation needed] He trained as a carpenter and started making wooden toys in 1932 to make a living after having lost his job during the depression. Soon after, his wife, Kirstine, died, leaving him to raise his four sons. Christiansen was inspired to construct a small wooden duck toy for his children. He never remarried. He soon learned his sons loved the new toy and decided to put the ducks into production, using the leftover wood from his old business.[citation needed]

In 1942, a fire broke out at the factory forcing them to rebuild. Initially, he made miniature versions of the houses and furniture as he worked on as a carpenter, but in 1947 moved to using plastics, which were originally small plastic bears and rattles. By 1949 he had produced over 200 plastic and wooden toys.[citation needed]

Ole Kirk Christiansen came up with the name LEGO from the Danish words leg godt, meaning "play well", and the company grew to become the LEGO Group.[1]

On 11 March 1958, Christiansen died from a heart attack when he was 66 years old, and his third son Godtfred promptly took over the company.[2]


  1. ^ Mary Bellis (1 May 1954). "Timeline: Lego Group". Inventors.about.com. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Inventor of the Week: Ole Kirk Christiansen". Lemelson-MIT Program. December 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2013.