Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís

Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís

biographical name

(born April 15, 1930, Reykjavík, Ice.) Teacher and president of Iceland (1980–96). After graduating from Reykjavík College in 1949, Finnbogadóttir attended the University of Grenoble and the Sorbonne in France and the University of Uppsala in Sweden. She also studied in Denmark and at the University of Iceland, where she later taught. From 1972 to 1980, while serving as director of the Reykjavík Theatre Company, Finnbogadóttir presented French lessons and cultural programming on Iceland State Television. In 1980 she was drafted as a candidate for the presidency of Iceland and was narrowly elected, defeating three male opponents, thereby becoming the first woman in the world to be elected head of state in a national election. She was reelected three times (1984, 1988, and 1992) before retiring from office in 1996.

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