Ólafur Jóhannesson

Geir Hallgrímsson Steingrímur Hermannsson Prime Minister of Iceland
Ólafur Jóhannesson
15th Prime Minister of Iceland
In office
1 September 1978 – 15 October 1979
PresidentKristján Eldjárn
Preceded byGeir Hallgrímsson
Succeeded byBenedikt Gröndal
In office
14 July 1971 – 28 August 1974
PresidentKristján Eldjárn
Preceded byJóhann Hafstein
Succeeded byGeir Hallgrímsson
Personal details
Born(1913-03-01)1 March 1913
Skagafjörður, Iceland
Died20 May 1984(1984-05-20) (aged 71)
Political partyProgressive Party
Alma materUniversity of Iceland

Ólafur Jóhannesson (1 March 1913 – 20 May 1984) was the fifteenth Prime Minister of Iceland for the Progressive Party on two occasions. He was a member of the Progressive Party, serving as party chairman during the 1970s.


Ólafur was educated at Akureyri Junior College (matriculated 1935), and studied law at the University of Iceland (graduated 1939, Hdl. 1942).[1] Following postgraduate studies in Denmark and Sweden, he worked as a lawyer and accountant, before returning to academia, becoming a lecturer and serving as a professor of law at the University of Iceland 1947–78.

He served as Prime Minister and Minister for Justice and Minister Ecclesiastical Affairs 1971–74 and 1978–79; Minister for Justice, Minister Ecclesiastical Affairs and Trade Secretary 1974–78; and Foreign Minister 1980–83.[1] As Minister for Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, he recognised Ásatrúarfélagið as a religious organisation in May 1973. During his tenure, Ólafur headed the government that defied Great Britain during the Cod War.[2]


In 1941, Ólafur married Dóra Guðbjartsdóttir (1915−2004). They had three children.[3]


  1. ^ a b Halfdanarson, Gudmundur (23 October 2008). Historical Dictionary of Iceland. Scarecrow Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8108-6274-6. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ Jessup, John E (1998). An encyclopedic dictionary of conflict and conflict resolution, 1945-1996. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-313-28112-9. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  3. ^ http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?pageId=3609462