Famous Swedes

Carl von Linné, (17071778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. He is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. He is known as the “father of modern taxonomy.”
Anders Celcius, (17011744) was a Swedish astronomer. Celsius was the founder of the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory in 1741. He is best known for the Celsius temperature scale, first proposed in a paper to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1742.
Alfred Nobel, (1833-96) invented dynamite, which made him rich and famous. He donated most of his wealth to a fund which pays for the Nobel Prize, awarded in Stockholm and Oslo on 10 December every year, on the anniversary of Nobel’s death.
Gustaf de Laval (18451913) was a Swedish engineer and inventor who made important contributions to the design of steam turbines and dairy machinery.In 1890 he developed a nozzle to increase the speed of the steam entering the turbine. This is now known as a de Laval nozzle and is of great importance in rocket design. De Laval also made important contributions to the dairy industry, including the first centifugal milkcream separator and early milking machines, the first of which he patented in 1894.

Dag Hammarskjöld, (1905-61) was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 until his death in an air crash while working in what is now Zambia. His ambition was to give the United Nations an active role in international crises and he is the man behind the peace-keeping forces under the UN flag.
Carl Bildt, (born 1949) was appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations to the Balkans in 1999. In the spring of 1995 he was made EU Special Representative to the Former Yugoslavia and Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia. Following his Co-Chairmanship of the Dayton peace talks, he served until the summer of 1997 as the international community’s High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bildt was Prime Minister of Sweden between 1991 and 1994.
Göran Persson, born in 1949, Prime Minister in Sweden since 1996. He has previously been Minister of Finance and Municipal Commissioner.
Olof Palme, (1927-86), Prime Minister 1969-76 and 1982-86, Leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1969 until his death. He was shot to death on the open street in Stockholm. The murder remains unsolved.
Raol Wallenberg, born in 1912, saved tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest from Nazi deportation during the Second World War. He was abducted in 1945 by the Soviet Army. According to Soviet information, he died in Moscow in 1947, but his fate is still surrounded by mystery.

Ingvar Kamprad, founded the company of IKEA at the age of 17. That was in 1943 and now his company operates alltetra-pak.gif over the world.
Ruben Rausing, 1895-1983, co-founder of liquid food packaging company Tetra Pak.
Lars Magnus Ericsson (18461926) was a Swedish inventor and founder of telephone equipment manufacturer Ericsson (incorporated as Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson).
Ivar Kreuger (18801932) was a Swedish financier, entrepreneur and industrialist. In the time between the two world wars, he was one of the most powerful businessmen in Europe, basing his business activities on match production. He gained a match monopoly and became known as the “Match King”.


in the 1970s was the start of an internationally successful era for Swedish popmusic, which has become an important export. When Abba broke up in 1982, the group had sold 250 million records.
Ace of Base, is a Swedish Dance-pop band. They released their debut album in 1992, and went on to major chart success throughout the 1990s. Some of their most famous songs were All That She Wants, The Sign and Life Is A Flower.
The Cardigans. Their first album “Life” was enormously popular in Japan, the UK and the USA when it was released in 1995. Every single track in the album reached the Top 40 and the hit song “Carnival” was top of the list in Japan, Iceland and Mexico. When the “First Band on the Moon” album was released in 1996, more than 300 000 records were sold within only seven days in Japan, and since then their success has continued.
Jonas Åkerlund, born in 1966, video and advertising film producer who has won a Grammy in the USA for having produced Madonna’s video Ray of Light.
The Hives are a rock band from Fagersta, Sweden that first rose to prominence in the early 2000s as a leading group of the garage rock revival. Their breakthrough came with the release of the “Best Of” compilation Your New Favourite Band, featuring their most commercially successful song Hate To Say I Told You So. The band are notable for producing punky garage rock songs, performing exciting live shows and for wearing matching black and white suits.
Jenny Lind (18201887), was a Swedish-born singer, often known as the Swedish Nightingale. Born in Stockholm, she was noted for her singing voice from a very young age. By the age of 16 she was a favorite in the Royal Swedish Opera. She was received throughout Europe with tremendous acclaim. In 1850, Lind sailed to the United States and went on a concert tour of a number of cities. Her first American performance was given in New York City on October 24, 1850. The tour was a great success, and it was then that she became known in the press as the “Swedish Nightingale”.
Martin “Max Martin” Sandberg (born in 1971) is a music producer and songwriter. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden and is best known by his artistic name Max Martin. As a producer and songwriter, he crafted a string of worldwide hits for pop-artists like the mega boybands Backstreet Boys, Westlife and N*Sync, pop princess Britney Spears and Swedish starlet Robyn, among many others, in the late 1990s to mid 2000s. Recently, he produced some hit songs for American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

Astrid Lindgren, born in 1907, is one of the most famous Swedes and perhaps the best-loved of them all. Her books for children have been translated into more than 60 languages and have been the subject of 40 films. Pippi Longstocking has fascinated children throughout the world.
August Strindberg, (1849-1912) represents the giant of Swedish literature. His enormous production ranges over all literary genres. Abroad he is most well-known as a dramatist.

Ingmar Bergman, born in 1918, theatre man and film maker, made 40 films during the period 1946-82. The film “Smiles of a Summer Night” brought him international fame. He continues to work within the theatre.
Ingrid Bergman,
(1915-82) went to Hollywood in the early 1940s. Today her most famous film is “Casablanca” (1943) in which she starred with Humphrey Bogart. She won three Oscar statuettes in the course of her career.
Greta Garbo, (1905-90), “the Divine” was born and is now buried in Stockholm. She made her debut in Hollywood in 1926. Her beauty and voice made her one of the world’s most popular film stars of all time.
Lasse Hallström, (born 1946 in Stockholm) is a Swedish film director. Hallström learned his craft making music videos, in particular those made for the group ABBA. After the international success of My Life as a Dog, he has been working on American movies. He also directed What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.
Peter Stormare, born in 1953,Swedish-Hollywood actor. Has starred in movies sucha as Fargo, Armageddon, Chocolat, Minority Report and The Brothers Grimm. He currently plays the role of John Abruzzi in the TV-series Prison Break.
Stellan Skarsgård, (born 1951) is a Swedish actor. During his early career most of his work was confined to his native Sweden. He is particularly associated with director Lars von Trier, having starred in three of the Danish auteur’s features, including The Kingdom. His best-known English language film roles include Russian submarine captain Tupolov in The Hunt for Red October; an MIT professor of mathematics in Good Will Hunting, the Saxon warlord Cerdic in King Arthur and William “Bootstrap Bill” Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Carl Larsson, (1853-1919) was a Swedish painter and interior designer.
Born to extremely poor parents, Larsson’s childhood was not happy. However, at the age of thirteen he was admitted to the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. After several years working as an illustrator of books, magazines, and newspapers, Larsson moved to Paris, where he met his wife to be Karin. This was to be a turning point in Larsson’s life. In Paris, Larsson painted some of his most important works. Carl and Karin Larsson raised eight children and his family became Larsson’s favorite models. Many of his watercolors are now popular all over the world. In 1888 the young family was given a small house in Sundborn, by Karin’s father Adolf Bergöö. Carl and Karin decorated and furnished this house according to their particular artistic taste and also for the needs of the growing family. Through Larsson’s paintings and books this house has become one of the most famous artist’s homes in the world.


Annika Sörenstam, born in 1970, has been three times awarded the title of Golfer of the Year at the LPGA tour. She has won two Majors and has been elected into golf’s “Hall of Fame”.
Björn Borg, , born in 1956, was hailed as “Swedish sportsman of the 20th century” and went down in the history of tennis, among other things, for winning Wimbledon for five years in succession.
Fredrik Ljungberg (born in 1977) is a Swedish footballer who currently plays for Arsenal in the English Premiership. He is currently the club’s longest serving player, and captain of the Swedish national team.
Henrik Larsson (born in 1971 in Helsingborg) is a Swedish football player. He is best known for his seven very successful years with Scottish club Celtic, in which time he won the Golden Boot. He subsequently had a two year spell at Barcelona of Spain where he won the Champions League. Having left Barcelona in the summer of 2006, he is currently playing for his hometown club of Helsingborgs IF. From 1993-2002 and 2004-2006 Larsson played international football for Sweden. He announced his international retirement after the 2006 World Cup.
Peter “Foppa” Forsberg (born in 1973 in Örnsköldsvik) is a professional ice hockey player from Sweden. He is currently a center for the Philadelphia Flyers, an NHL franchise. He is the only Swedish hockey player to win the Stanley Cup, the World Championship and Olympic Hockey Gold twice. He played for his hometown team MoDo Hockey in Sweden during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, before that he was one of the top players in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche.

Explore posts in the same categories: Facts

9 Comments on “Famous Swedes”

  1. Ashton Says:

    Where’s the famous artists!

  2. Goran Bockman Says:

    A good long list of famous Swedes, but how in God’s name could you omit mention of Jussi Bjorling, widely regarded as the greatest Tenor of all times?!!Just listen to his Nessun Dorma here:

  3. Liam Neely Says:

    A suggested update:

    The works of ABBA, as collected and reset in the extremely popular stage musical and film, Mamma Mia, have brought the group back into the public eye. The Film also starred Stellan Skarsgård whose bio above omits this role.

  4. Kit Says:

    You probably hear that a lot, but I just had to say that the web-design of ur blog looks great!

  5. Karen Engdahl Says:

    What about Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers Hockey team????

  6. cocos Says:

    you forgot zlatan!!!!

  7. josefin Says:

    Additional in Film:
    Lena Olin
    Alexander Skarsgård
    Malin Åkerman
    Max Von Sydow
    Dolph Lundgren
    Victor Sjöström (also known as Victor Seastrom)

    Additional in Music:
    Swedish House Mafia

    Additional in Sports:
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Football/Soccer player)

    Additional in Business:
    Erling Persson (Creator of H&M)

    Additional in Literature:
    Stieg Larsson

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