Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

Born:April 15, 1930 (age 90)
Career:President of Iceland, 1980-1996
Education:Reykjavík College
University of Grenoble
The Sorbonne
University of Uppsala

President of Iceland from 1980 to 1996, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first democratically, directly elected, female president.

Finnbogadóttir was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, on April 15, 1930. Her mother, an active feminist, participated in the nurse’s trade union for 35 years. Her father was an engineer and professor and encouraged Finnbogadóttir to pursue the arts. She graduated in 1949 from Reykjavík College and continued her education in France and Sweden at the University of Grenoble, the Sorbonne and the University of Uppsala, respectively. Later, she taught drama, theatre history, and French at the University of Denmark.

In 1986, Finnbogadóttir hosted a summit with President Ronald Reagan and President Mikhail Gorbachev, which aided in the end to the Cold War.

She is retired from national politics but is still active among worldwide organizations, currently serving as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Photo via University of Iceland