(Mayor from 1908-1914.) Reykjavík’s first mayor. Originally the sheriff of Hafnarfjörður, Einarsson ran against city official for the Danish government Knud Zimsen and soundly won, thus confirming the growing nationalist sentiment in Iceland. At that time, the mayor’s salary was 4,500 ISK.
(Mayor from 1933-1935.) Þorláksson was a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, and was the first leader of the Independence Party, which was formed when the Liberals and the Conservatives merged in 1929. He is credited with strengthening Iceland’s economy. His ideas regarding limited government and increased free trade are said to have inspired Davíð Oddsson’s own mayoral policies.
(Mayor from 1940-1947.) Not to be confused with his nephew, Independence Party MP Bjarni Benediktsson. This man oversaw the city during the time that Iceland received its independence from Denmark. Benediktsson would later become editor of Morgunblaðið, and then Prime Minister in 1963. He died in a fire at the government house at Þingvellir, along with his wife and grandson, in 1970. His son, Björn Bjarnason, is the current Minister of Justice.
(Mayor from 1982-1991.) The one and only. Well-known for his privatisation policies, Oddsson was less known for his literary efforts. These included two volumes of short stories, several plays, and some poetry, as well as writing a short story that inspired the Hrafn Gunnlaugsson film Opinberun Hannesar, considered by many to be the worst Icelandic movie ever made. Oddsson is currently the chairman of the Central Bank of Iceland.
(Mayor from 2003-2004.) Served one of the shortest terms as mayor of Reykjavík. After taking over the office when Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir left for greener pastures, Árnason was himself forced to resign from his post after the oil company Esso – where he worked as the marketing director – became implicated in a price-fixing scandal along with Ólís and Skeljungur (Shell). He is today the CEO of Icelandic Group hf.
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