Portal:Norway/Selected biography

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Selected biographies list[edit]

Portal:Norway/Selected biography/1

Anne of Denmark attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

Anne of Denmark (12 December 1574 – 2 March 1619) was queen consort of James VI of Scots, I of England. The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I of England. She demonstrated an independent streak and a willingness to use factional Scottish politics in her conflicts with James over the custody of Prince Henry and his treatment of her friend Beatrix Ruthven. Anne appears to have loved James at first, but the couple gradually drifted and eventually lived apart, though mutual respect and a degree of affection survived. In England, Anne shifted her energies from factional politics to patronage of the arts and constructed a magnificent court of her own, hosting one of the richest cultural salons in Europe. After 1612, she suffered sustained bouts of ill health and gradually withdrew from the centre of court life. Though she was reported to have died a Protestant, evidence suggests that she may have converted to Catholicism at some stage in her life. Historians have traditionally dismissed Anne as a lightweight queen, frivolous and self-indulgent. However, recent reappraisals acknowledge Anne's assertive independence and, in particular, her dynamic significance as a patron of the arts during the famous Jacobean age.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/2

Gunnhild learns that Erik is dead. Illustration by Krohg.

Gunnhildr konungamóðir (mother of kings) or Gunnhildr Özurardóttir (c. 900  –  c. 980) was the wife of Erik Bloodaxe (king of Norway 930–34, "king" of Orkney c. 937–54, and king of Jórvík 948–49 and 952–54). Gunnhild is a prominent figure in many Norse sagas, including Fagrskinna, Egil's Saga, Njal's Saga, and Heimskringla. Many of the details of her life are disputed, including her parentage. Gunnhild lived during a time of great change in Norway. Her father-in-law Harald Fairhair had recently united much of Norway under his rule. Shortly after his death, Gunnhild and her husband were overthrown and exiled. She spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney, Jorvik and Denmark. A number of her many children with Erik became co-rulers of Norway in the late tenth century. What details of her life are known come largely from Icelandic sources; because the Icelanders were generally hostile to her and her husband, scholars regard some of the more negative episodes reported in them as suspect.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/3

Thorkildsen at GE Money Grand Prix in Helsinki, July 2005

Andreas Thorkildsen (born 1 April 1982 in Kristiansand) is a Norwegian javelin thrower. He is the world junior record holder in the event and has won gold medals at the Summer Olympics and European Championships in Athletics as well as a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. He was leader of the IAAF world ranking in javelin throw until September 2007, and is currently second on the ranking list.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/4

Pencil drawing of Haakon Lie by Andreas Vartdal

Haakon Lie (born September 22, 1905) is a Norwegian politician who served as party secretary for the Norwegian Labour Party from 1945 to 1969. Coming from humble origins, he got involved in the labour movement at an early age, and quickly rose in the party system. After actively working for the resistance movement and the exiled government during World War II, he was elected to the second-highest position in the party after the war, and his years in office were the most successful in the party's history. Lie is widely considered – along with Einar Gerhardsen – to be the architect of the post-war success of the Labour Party, and of the Norwegian welfare state. At the same time, he has also been the subject of criticism for organising surveillance of Norwegian oppositionals, in particular communists. Lie has remained active in Norwegian public life, even after his 100th birthday.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/5

Lewis chessmen, iconic image of Scandinavian Scotland in Maddadsson's time

Harald Maddadsson (Old Norse Haraldr Maddaðarson, Gaelic Aralt mac Mataid) (c. 1134–1206) was Earl of Orkney and Mormaer of Caithness from 1139 until 1206. He was the son of Matad, Mormaer of Atholl, and Margaret, daughter of Earl Haakon Paulsson of Orkney. Of mixed Norse and Gaelic blood, and a descendant of Scots kings, he was a significant figure in northern Scotland. The Orkneyinga Saga names him one of the three more powerful Earls of Orkney with Sigurd Eysteinsson and Thorfinn Sigurdsson.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/6

Harald V of Norway

Harald V (born February 21, 1937) is the King of Norway. He succeeded to the throne of Norway upon the death of his father Olav V on January 17, 1991. The son of the then Crown Prince Olav and of Princess Märtha of Sweden, Harald was born at the Crown Prince Residence at Skaugum, Asker, near Oslo. Harald became the first Norwegian-born prince since the birth of Olav IV in 1370. Harald V is the formal head of the Church of Norway and the Norwegian Armed Forces. As he is the great-grandson of King Edward VII, he is also in the line of succession to the British throne. He is a second cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. King Harald has two sisters, Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen (1930–2012) and Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner (born 1932), living in Oslo.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/7

Annie performing in Bergen in 2005.

Anne Lilia Berge Strand (born November 21, 1978 in Trondheim, Norway), better known by her stage name Annie, is a pop artist and DJ from Bergen, Norway. She first earned recognition in 1999, when her single "The Greatest Hit," which samples Madonna's "Everybody," became an underground club hit in Norway and Britain. In 2003, Annie was signed to 679 Recordings and met British producer Richard X, with whom she wrote and recorded "Chewing Gum." Her debut album Anniemal was released in 2004. The album was well-received by bloggers and critics. Annie's song "Heartbeat" was chosen as Pitchfork Media's #1 Song of the Year before it was officially released. Anniemal won Best Pop Album and Annie won Best Newcomer at the Spellemannsprisen, an annual Norwegian music award ceremony. Her second album is slated for release in April 2008 on Island Records.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/8

Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg (born 16 March 1959) is a Norwegian economist, leader (since 2002) of the Norwegian Labour Party and the current Prime Minister of Norway. Stoltenberg was the leader of the Workers' Youth League between 1985 and 1989, and the Oslo chapter of the Labour Party between 1990 and 1992. He was junior minister (statssekretær) in the Department of the Environment 1990-1991, Minister of Industry 1993-1996, and Minister of Finance 1996-1997. His first tenure as Prime Minister (2000 to 2001) was controversial within his own party, being responsible for reforms and modernisation of the welfare state that included part-privatising several key state-owned services and corporations. In the parliamentary elections of 10 September 2001 the party suffered one of its worst results ever, winning only 24% of the vote. The disastrous results of 2001 were quickly followed by a bitter leadership battle between Thorbjørn Jagland and Stoltenberg, with Stoltenberg winning the party leadership. The 2005 parliamentary elections saw a vast improvement for Labour, and the party gained a majority in parliament together with the other "Red-Green" parties, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party. This paved the way for a historic first in Norway, with Labour joining in a coalition government, the Red-Green Coalition. Stoltenberg became Prime Minister for the second time on 17 October 2005.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/9

General Fleischer's gravestone at Vår Frelsers gravlund

Carl Gustav Fleischer KCB (1883-1942) was a Norwegian general and the first land commander to win a major victory against the Germans in World War II. Fleischer was born in 1883 as the son of a Church of Norway pastor in Trøndelag. His father died while he was very young and Fleischer moved with his mother to grow up in Trondheim. His childhood home was one characterized by Christianity, simplicity and frugality. Motivated by economic uncertainties, Fleischer joined the Norwegian Military Academy and graduated as the second best student in 1905. In 1919-1923 he was the Staff officer of the Norwegian 6th division before becoming Commanding Officer of Infantry Regiment 14 (IR 14) in Mosjøen. While serving in North Norway Fleischer became an avid writer of military manuals and worked continually on developing the Norwegian Defence Forces in line with the special prerequisites caused by the Norwegian nature and society. On January 16, 1939 he was made Major General (generalmajor) and Commanding Officer of the Norwegian 6th division, the position that would lead him to become the first allied general to defeat the Wehrmacht in a head-on land confrontation.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/10

Photograph of Vidkun Quisling in 1942

Vidkun Quisling (1887–1945) was a Norwegian politician. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he seized power in a Nazi-backed coup d'etat. From 1942 to 1945 he served as Minister-President, working with the occupying forces. His collaborationist government, known as the Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling, the party he had founded in 1933. Among other things, it participated – wittingly or unwittingly – in Germany's Final Solution. Quisling was put on trial during the post-war legal purge in Norway and found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945. During World War II, quisling became a synonym for traitor.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/11

Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Johan Ibsen (March 20, 1828 – May 23, 1906) was a major Norwegian playwright largely responsible for the rise of modern realistic drama. He is often referred to as the "father of modern drama." His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian values of family life and propriety largely held sway in Europe and any challenge to them was considered immoral and outrageous. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind many facades, possessing a revelatory nature that was disquieting to many contemporaries. Ibsen largely founded the modern stage by introducing a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. Victorian-era plays were expected to be moral dramas with noble protagonists pitted against darker forces; every drama was expected to result in a morally appropriate conclusion, meaning that goodness was to bring happiness, and immorality pain. Ibsen challenged this notion and the beliefs of his times and shattered the illusions of his audiences.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/12

Christian IV of Denmark

Christian IV (April 12, 1577 – February 28, 1648) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1588 until his death. He is sometimes referred to as Christian Firtal in Denmark and Christian Kvart or Quart in Norway. The son of Frederick II, king of Denmark and Norway, and Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, he was born at Frederiksborg castle in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. On November 30, 1597 he married Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, a daughter of Joachim Friedrich, margrave of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia. The queen died fourteen years later, after bearing Christian six children. Four years after her death the king privately wedded a handsome young gentlewoman, Kirsten Munk, by whom he had twelve children — a connection which was to be disastrous to Denmark. It is believed that he, counting both legitimate and illegitimate, had at least 26 children, quite possibly more. He descended, through his mother's side, from king Hans of Denmark, thus uniting the senior branch' descent to the crown. He is frequently remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects, and ruling for just under sixty years.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/13

Harriet Bosse as Indra's daughter in 1907

Harriet Bosse (1878–1961) was a NorwegianSwedish actress. A celebrity in her own day, Bosse is today most commonly remembered as the third wife of August Strindberg, one of the originators of modern drama. Having secured an engagement at the Royal Dramatic Theatre ("Dramaten"), the main drama venue of Sweden's capital Stockholm, Bosse caught the attention of Strindberg with her intelligent acting and exotic "oriental" appearance. Strindberg wrote a number of major roles for Bosse during their short and stormy relationship, especially in 1900–1901, a period of great creativity and productivity for him. Like his previous two marriages, the relationship failed through Strindberg's jealousy, which some biographers have considered paranoid. The arc of Strindberg's feelings about Bosse, from worship to rage, is reflected in the roles he wrote for her to play, or as portraits of her. Despite her real-life role as muse to Strindberg, she remained an independent artist. Bosse married Swedish actor Gunnar Wingård in 1908, and Swedish screen actor, director, and matinee idol Edvin Adolphson in 1927. All three of her marriages ended in divorce after a few years, leaving her as a hard-working single mother with a daughter by Strindberg and a son by Wingård. On retiring after a high-profile acting career based in Stockholm, she returned to her roots in Oslo.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/14

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈmʉŋk], December 12, 1863 – January 23, 1944) was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker, and an important forerunner of Expressionistic art. His best-known painting, The Scream (1893), is one of the pieces in a series titled The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of life, love, fear, death, and melancholy. As with many of his works, he painted several versions of it. Similar paintings include Despair and Anxiety. The Frieze of Life themes recur throughout Munch's work, in paintings such as The Sick Child (1885), Love and Pain (1893-94), Ashes (1894), and The Bridge. The latter shows limp figures with featureless or hidden faces, over which loom the threatening shapes of heavy trees and brooding houses. Munch portrayed women either as frail, innocent sufferers (see Puberty and Love and Pain) or as the cause of great longing, jealousy and despair (see Separation, Jealousy and Ashes). Some say these paintings reflect the artist's sexual anxieties, though it could also be argued that they are a better representation of his turbulent relationship with love itself.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Norway/Selected biography/15

Eric Sevareid

Arnold Eric Sevareid (November 26, 1912 – July 9, 1992) was a CBS news journalist from 1939 to 1977. He was one of a group of elite war correspondents—dubbed "Murrow's Boys"—because they were hired by pioneering CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow. Sevareid was a child of the American Plains. He was born in Velva, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1935. Of Norwegian ancestry, he preserved a strong bond with Norway throughout his life. Sevareid's work during World War II, with Edward R. Murrow as one of the original Murrow's Boys, was at the forefront of broadcasting. He was the first to report on the fall of France and the French surrender to Nazi Germany in 1940. Shortly after, he joined Murrow to report on the Battle of Britain. Later, in his final broadcast with CBS, in 1977 he would call Murrow the man who "invented me."

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/16

Florence Jaffray Harriman

Florence Jaffray Harriman (July 21, 1870 – August 31, 1967) was an American socialite, suffragist, social reformer, organizer, and later, a courageous diplomat. In 1937, Harriman was appointed as the United States' Minister to Norway. (Her precise title was "Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary" for Norway.) In 1940, Germany invaded Norway with little warning, causing Minister Harriman and the rest of the American legation in Norway to join certain members of the Norwegian royal family and other refugees seeking protection hundreds of kilometers away in Sweden. Harriman is credited with arranging for the safety of other Americans and several members of the Norwegian royal family – Crown Princess Märtha and her children Ragnhild, Astrid and Harald. She returned to the Nordic countries to complete the evacuation of current and future U.S. citizens through Finland on the troopship USS American Legion in August 1940. Her service in Norway, and the harrowing escape, became the subject of her next book, Mission to the North, published in 1941. In her ninety-second year, U.S. President John F. Kennedy honored her by awarding her the first "Citation of Merit for Distinguished Service."

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/17

Frederick III of Denmark

Frederick III (March 18, 1609 – February 19, 1670) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death. He stands as the ruler who introduced absolute monarchy in Denmark. Frederick was born at Haderslev in Slesvig, the son of Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg. His position as a younger son profoundly influenced his future career. In his youth and early manhood, there was no prospect of his ascending the Danish throne, and he consequently became the instrument of his father's schemes of aggrandizement in Germany. While still a lad, he became successively bishop of Bremen, bishop of Verden, and coadjutor of Halberstadt. At the age of eighteen, he was the chief commandant of the fortress of Stade. On October 1, 1643 Frederick wed Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg (daughter of George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg). During the disastrous Swedish War of 1643–1645, Frederick was appointed commander of the duchies by his father. The death of his elder brother Christian in June 1647 first opened to him the prospect of succeeding to the Danish throne, but the question was still unsettled when Christian IV died on February 28, 1648 (old style; March 9 new style). Not until July 6 did Frederick III receive the homage of his subjects, and only after he had signed a Haandfæstning or charter, by which the already diminished royal prerogative was still further curtailed.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/18

Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (born October 10, 1861 on the estate Store Frøen, near Christiania - died May 13, 1930 in Lysaker, outside Oslo) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist and diplomat. He was married to Eva Nansen (died 1907). Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work as a League of Nations High Commissioner. He was the father of noted architect and humanist Odd Nansen and the grandfather of Eigil Nansen. Before Norway's dissolution of its union with Sweden on 7 June 1905, Nansen had been a devoted republican, along with other prominent Norwegians like the authors Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Arne Garborg. However, after hearing compelling arguments from Sigurd Ibsen and others, Nansen changed his position (as did Bjørnson and Garborg) and was thereafter influential in convincing Prince Carl of Denmark that he should accept the position as king of Norway. In a referendum where the Norwegian electorate chose between a monarchy and a republic, Nansen campaigned for monarchy, certain it was the right thing for Norway, although the general view was that Nansen would be elected President if Norwegians chose republican rule. Carl was crowned as King Haakon VII after the referendum results indicated Norwegians' strong preference for monarchy.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/19

Gaahl

Kristian Eivind Espedal (born August 7, 1975), better known by his stage name Gaahl, is a Norwegian black metal vocalist, and is the frontman of Norwegian band Gorgoroth. Gaahl was born in the village of Espedal in Fjaler, Norway in 1975. He spent his youth living in a small village, which his family has owned for centuries. Gaahl, along with his family, still reside in the village, though they are fifteen minutes apart from each other. Gaahl has been involved with black metal since 1992, and has been in bands such as Gaahlskagg (with Gorgoroth live guitarist Skagg), Trelldom, and Sigfader (with Skagg and Kvitrafn). Gaahl joined Gorgoroth in 1998, and was first heard on their Nuclear Blast album Destroyer; however, he only sang on the title track.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/20

Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen

Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen (June 7, 1890 – June 3, 1965) was a Norwegian aviation pioneer, polar explorer and businessman. Among his achievements, he is generally regarded as the founder of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Riiser-Larsen was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1890. In 1909, aged nineteen, he joined the Norwegian Naval Academy and in 1915 the newly-formed Naval Air Force. After World War I, he served as the acting head of the Naval Air Force's factory until a more senior officer was appointed. In 1921, he joined the Aviation Council, then part of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, as a secretary. This gave him the opportunity to study the fledgling military and civil aviation infrastructure for which the Council was responsible. He also became a frequent pilot on the air routes used by the new aviation companies.

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Portal:Norway/Selected biography/21

Hans Gude

Hans Fredrik Gude (March 13, 1825 – August 17, 1903), was a Norwegian romanticist painter and is considered along with Johan Christian Dahl to be one of Norway's foremost landscape painters. Gude's early works are of idyllic, sun-drenched Norwegian landscapes which present a romantic, yet still realistic view of his country. Around 1860 Gude began painting seascapes and other coastal subjects. Gude had difficulty with figure drawing initially and so collaborated with Adolph Tidemand in some of his painting, drawing the landscape himself and allowing Tidemand to paint the figures. Gude spent forty-five years as an art professor and so he played an important roll in the development of Norwegian art by acting as a mentor to three generations of Norwegian artists. Young Norwegian artists flocked to wherever Gude was teaching, first at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf and later at the School of Art in Karlsruhe. Gude also served as a professor at the Berlin Academy of Art from 1880 to 1901, although he attracted few Norwegians to the Berlin Academy because by this time Berlin had been surpassed in prestige in the eyes of young Norwegian artists by Paris. Over the course of his lifetime Gude won numerous medals, was inducted as an honorary member in to many art academies, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav.

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Nominations[edit]

Adding articles
  • Feel free to add WP:FA or WP:GA articles to the above list. Other Norway-related biography articles may be nominated here.
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