Ólafur Sveinsson (born August 1st, 1942) is an American politician who served as Governor of Alaska from December 2nd, 2010 to December 2nd, 2018. He previously served as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 1989 to 2005.
Early life and education
Sveinsson was born in Anchorage, Alaska on August 1st, 1942. He was the son of Icelandic immigrants who had moved to the United States in the 1920s from the city of Reykjavik. They ultimately settled in Alaska by 1926. His father worked as a fisherman and his mother worked at the nearby bakery. Both were advocates for Alaskan statehood.
Sveinsson was raised in Anchorage, Alaska where he recalled fond memories of his childhood playing in snow, going on hikes with his father, and fishing in the Pacific Ocean. Sveinson was an only child and therefore spent more time with his father than most children in the area. He graduated from Chugiak High school in 1960 and then pursued a higher education at Alaska Pacific University.
It was at Alaska Pacific University where Sveinsson would pursue an interest in politics, he would work for State Representative Mike Gravel as an intern during his junior year of College. Sveinsson would graduate from Alaska Pacific University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in political science.
Campaign for Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska
In 1990, Sveinsson ran for Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska. He campaigned on education reform for the Anchorage Public School system and rebuilding many of the roads. He ran as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Jennifer Whitman.
Whitman would defeat Sveinsson with 58% of the vote.