The last of the legends has passed away at 103

Norway's political icon Haakon Lie has passed away. Photo: DAG W GRUNDSETH / AFTENPOSTEN.

Haakon Lie, who led Norway’s Labor Party during its most powerful post-war period, passed away on May 25. He was 103 years old.

Lie came from humble beginnings. He was born in Oslo in 1905 (then called Kristiania), into a family of Finnish origin. In his early life he worked as a forester, but after a bout of tuberculosis in 1927, he had to give it up. Lie was best known during his 24 years as Labor Party secretary (from 1945 to 1969). 

“One of the last great pioneers of the labor movement is gone,”

said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, current Labor Party leader. “Through his impressive work and burning interest, Haakon Lie helped transfer Norway from a poor society into a welfare state. Norway and the Labor Party are grateful,” Stoltenberg said.

In 1945 Lie participated in the Norwegian delegation when the UN was formed in San Fracisco, California. He was known for being a hardliner against the communists, and the left side of the Labor party, and played a central role in the surveillance of the outer left in Norway during the post-war period.

He also played a key role when the Labor party and the government worked for Norwegian membership of NATO, and stayed a true supporter of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC), and the fact that Norway should have strong political ties to the US and Great Britain.

Lie became involved with the labor movement at the age of sixteen, and his political commitment to his party remained strong until his death. He wrote several books, among them the controversial memoir “…slik jeg ser det (“…the way I see it”) in 1975. Lie remained active in Norwegian public life, even after his 100th birthday. In 2008 he celebrated his 103rd birthday with the release of a new biography; “Slik jeg ser det nå” (As I see it now). For many years Lie spent his winters in the US state of Florida, but eventually moved back permanently to Norway.

Source: Aftenposten / Wikipedia.

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