Alva Myrdal

Lived:January 31, 1902—February 1, 1986 (aged 84)
Education:B.A., University of Stockholm
M.A., University of Uppsala

Alva Myrdal was a Swedish politician, diplomat and social reformer, and the 1982 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Myrdal was born on January 31, 1902, in Uppsala, Sweden. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Scandinavian languages and literature and the history of religion at the University of Stockholm in 1924 and a Master of Arts from the University of Uppsala in 1934.

Myrdal was a leading advocate for social welfare reform and women's rights in the 1930s. She was also a prominent member of the Social Democrat Party in Sweden. In 1943, she was appointed to the Government Commission on International Post-War Aid and Reconstruction. In 1949, she was named head of the United Nations Department of Social Affairs and in 1955 became head of social studies for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In 1955, she was appointed Swedish ambassador to India, Sweden's first female ambassador. She became a member of the Swedish Parliament in 1962 and a member of the Cabinet in 1967. Myrdal was the head of Sweden's delegation to the United Nations disarmament talks in Geneva from 1962 to 1973.

Myrdal died on February 1, 1986, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Speeches