Halldór Ásgrímsson, former chair of the Progressive Party, who served as prime minister of Iceland from September 2004 to June 2006, passed away at 67 yesterday.
Morgunblaðið reports that Halldór suffered a serious heart attack in his summer house in Grímsnes, South Iceland, on Friday. He was taken to Landspítali National University Hospital where he died in the ICU yesterday.
Born on September 8, 1947, Halldór earned a degree in business and accounting and taught at the economics department of the University of Iceland from 1973 to 1975.
Halldór first took a seat in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, in 1974, and served until 1978, and again from 1979 to 2006—31 year overall. He was elected vice-chair of the Progressive Party in 1980 and served the position until 1994 when he became the party’s chair. He held that position until 2006.
Halldór served as minister for 19 years combined. Apart from being prime minister, he also led the Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry for the Environment and temporarily the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health.
In 2006, Halldór decided to step down as prime minister and retire from politics. In January 2007, he became secretary general for the Nordic Council of Ministers and held the position until March 2013.
Halldór leaves behind a wife, three grown daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.