Guðrún Agnarsdóttir

Guðrún Agnarsdóttir (born 1941) is an Icelandic politician and physician. She served in the Alþingi from 1983 to 1990 as a member of the Women's List, and ran for the presidency of Iceland in 1996. She served as CEO of Iceland's cancer society from 1992 to 2009, when she retired to spend time with her family and to continue farming forests.

Early life and educationEdit

Guðrún Agnarsdóttir was born in Reykjavík to Agnar Guðmundsson and Birna Petersen on 2 June 1941.[1]

In 1961 and 1968, she earned degrees from the University of Iceland.[1] In university, only five percent of the students were women.[2] For the next two years, she worked in hospitals, before receiving further education at Hammersmith Hospital and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School over the next eleven.[1] She received her Icelandic medical license in 1978, and her British medical license in 1981.[1]


She served in the Alþingi from 1983 to 1990; for the first four years, she was elected at the national level, and for the last three, she represented Reykjavík.[1] She was a member of the Women's List.[1] She worked on issues relating to rape, AIDS, and the medical sciences.[3]

In the 1996 Icelandic presidential election, Guðrún was a candidate as a member of the Women's List.[4] She said she ran to make Iceland "a model society ... where all individuals matter".[5] She was the only woman to run, and lost to Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson with around 25 percent of the vote.[6] She sent Ólafur congratulations, and he sent her thanks for her work during the campaign.[7] The Women's List doubled in representation in the Alþingi, from three to six members.[8]

Guðrún is a physician.[8] She met her husband, Helgi Þröstur Valdimarsson, in her early career as a doctor.[2] From 1988 to 1992, she was a member of the executive board of the cancer society of Iceland, and from 1992 to 2009, was its CEO;[9] she retired to spend time with her grandchildren and continue forest farming.[9]

Later lifeEdit

In 2018, her husband died.[2] In 2021, Guðrún said that she no longer regretted losing the presidential election.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Alþingi.
  2. ^ a b c d Gunnarsdóttir 2021.
  3. ^ Alþingi; Agnarsdóttir 1987.
  4. ^ Beveridge 1996; UPI 1996.
  5. ^ MBL 1996a: "fyrirmyndarþjóðfélag ... þar sem allir einstaklingarnir skipta máli".
  6. ^ UPI 1996.
  7. ^ MBL 1996b.
  8. ^ a b Teitsson 2021.
  9. ^ a b Viðskiptablaðið 2009.


  • Agnarsdóttir, Guðrún (5 November 1987). 68. mál, almenn hegningarlög [Section 68, general penal code] (Speech). 110th legislative assembly, eighth meeting. Alþingi (in Icelandic). Reykjavík. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • Beveridge, Dirk (29 June 1996). "Iceland chooses fifth president today". AP. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • Gunnarsdóttir, Gunnþóra (3 June 2021). "Er afar þakklát fyrir mitt líf" [I am very grateful for my life]. Frettabladid (in Icelandic). Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • Teitsson, Björn (4 June 2021). "70 andlit fyrir 70 ár - Guðrún Agnarsdóttir" [70 faces for 70 years - Guðrún Agnarsdóttir]. Krabbameinsfélagið (in Icelandic). Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • "Guðrún Agnarsdóttir". Alþingi (in Icelandic). Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • "Guðrún Agnarsdóttir í kjöri til forsetaembættis" [Guðrún Agnarsdóttir in the election for the presidency]. MBL (in Icelandic). 24 March 1996. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • "Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson kjörinn forseti Íslands" [Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson elected president of Iceland]. MBL (in Icelandic). 2 July 1996. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • "Grimsson heads for Iceland victory". UPI. 29 June 1996. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  • "Guðrún Agnarsdóttir hættir sem forstjóri Krabbameinsfélags Íslands - Viðskiptablaðið" [Guðrún Agnarsdóttir resigns as CEO of the Icelandic Cancer Society]. Viðskiptablaðið (in Icelandic). 7 October 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2021.