Reiulf Steen

Reiulf Steen (16 August 1933 – 5 June 2014) was a Norwegian author, ambassador and politician with the Norwegian Labour Party. He was active in the Labour Party from 1958 to 1990, serving as deputy party chairman from 1965 to 1975 and chairman from 1975 to 1981. Steen served as Norwegian ambassador to Chile between 1992 and 1996.[1][2]

Reiulf Steen
Reiulf Steen.PNG
Norwegian Ambassador to Chile
In office
4 September 1992 – 24 October 1996
Prime MinisterGro Harlem Brundtland
Vice President of the Storting
In office
9 October 1985 – 30 September 1989
PresidentJo Benkow
Preceded byOdvar Nordli
Succeeded byKirsti Kolle Grøndahl
Minister of Trade and Shipping
In office
8 October 1979 – 4 February 1981
Prime MinisterOdvar Nordli
Preceded byHallvard Bakke
Succeeded byKari Gjesteby
Minister of Transport and Communications
In office
17 March 1971 – 18 October 1972
Prime MinisterTrygve Bratteli
Preceded byHåkon Kyllingmark
Succeeded byJohn Austrheim
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
Preceded byTrygve Bratteli
Succeeded byGro Harlem Brundtland
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 1977 – 30 September 1993
ConstituencyOslo (1977-1985)
Akershus (1985-1993)
Personal details
Born(1933-08-16)16 August 1933
Hurum, Norway
Died5 June 2014(2014-06-05) (aged 80)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norway
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Inés Vargas
AwardsChile Order of Merit (Chile)
Chile Order of Bernardo O'Higgins
South Africa Order of the Companions of O. R. Tambo


He was born at Hurum in Buskerud, Norway. His parents were Nils Steen (1889-1941) and Astrid Karlsen (1899-1986). The father, who died when Reiulf was 7 years old, had been president of the Norwegian Chemical Industry Workers' Union and deputy mayor of the municipality.[2]

Steen was elected leader of the regional Labour Party affiliate at age 14. He had worked in a factory and as a journalist for the newspaper Fremtiden in Drammen before entering politics in 1958. He rose quickly through the ranks of his party, chairing the Workers' Youth League from 1961 to 1964.[1]

He later served as minister of transportation from 1971 to 1972 and minister of commerce and trade from 1979 to 1981. From 1977 to 1993 he was a member of Parliament, representing the constituencies Oslo and Akershus. He was the vice president of the Socialist International from 1978 to 1983 and chaired its committee on Chile from 1975 to 1990. He maintained a long-standing interest in Latin America and was appointed Norwegian ambassador to Chile in 1992, a tenure that lasted until 1996.[3]

He wrote columns for several of the country's leading newspapers, dealing with both national and international issues. He was also active in ATTAC and chaired the Norwegian branch of the European Movement (1999–2001), Norsk Folkehjelp (1999–2003) and the Norwegian branch of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (1986–1992). In later years, his memoirs and personal recollections related accounts of his own psychiatric problems and difficulties within the Labour Party.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Reiulf Steen was married twice. In 1960 he married Lis Fridholm (1936-1985). Their marriage was later dissolved. In 1980 he married Inés Vargas. He died on 5 June 2014 and was survived by his wife, four children from his first marriage and step-family. Via his step-daughter, he was father-in-law to Labour politician Raymond Johansen, who was Governing Mayor of Oslo. [1][5][6]


  • Ørnen har landet, 2003
  • Jordskjelv, 2000
  • Underveis, 1999
  • Beretninger, 1998
  • Ideene lever, 1992
  • Maktkamp, 1989
  • Inés – og det elskede landet, 1988
  • Der hjertet banker, 1986


  1. ^ a b c "Former Ap leader Reiulf Steen dies". News in English. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Ingunn Norderval. "Reiulf Steen". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Knut Are Tvedt. "Reiulf Steen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Reiulf Steens historie". V G. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Hans Olav Lahlum (6 June 2014) Triumfen og tragediene (in Norwegian) Dagbladet. Retrieved 12 June 2014
  6. ^ Var en varm, kjærlig og distré familiemann (in Norwegian) Dagbladet. Retrieved 12 June 2014

External linksEdit

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Norwegian Minister of Trade and Shipping
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the Workers' Youth League
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chairman of the Norwegian Labour Party
Succeeded by