Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson

Swedish journalist and writer
Date of Birth: 15.08.1954
Country: Sweden

  1. Stig Larsson: A Swedish Journalist and Writer
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Death and Controversy
  4. Literary Success

Stig Larsson: A Swedish Journalist and Writer

Stig Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer, best known as the author of the Millennium trilogy. The trilogy, featuring the detective-journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander, was published posthumously and became a global phenomenon. In 2008, Larsson was the second most popular writer in the world, following the Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini.

Stieg Larsson

Early Life and Career

Originally a political activist for the Workers' Communist League, Stig Larsson was also a photographer and a devoted fan of science fiction. He served as an editor for the Trotskyist journal 'Fjärde internationalen' and regularly contributed to the weekly magazine 'Internationalen'. As a science fiction enthusiast, Larsson became the editor of several fanzines, including 'Sfären' and 'FIJAGH!'. From 1978 to 1979, he even held the position of president in the largest science fiction fan club in Sweden, 'SFSF'.

Stieg Larsson

During his career as a graphic designer, which spanned from 1977 to 1999, Larsson worked for the largest Swedish agency, 'Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå'. His political beliefs and journalistic experience led him to establish the 'Swedish Expo Foundation'. The foundation aimed to counter the rise of far-right extremism and the influence of "white culture" in schools and among young people. Larsson also became the editor of the magazine 'Expo' and emerged as a prominent critic of extreme right-wing and racist organizations, making him the target of his political adversaries, including neo-Nazis.

Stieg Larsson

Death and Controversy

Stig Larsson passed away in Stockholm on November 9, 2004, at the age of 50, due to a massive heart attack. Speculation arose that his death may have been linked to his work at 'Expo' magazine, and later, these rumors were confirmed. However, it was also known that Larsson was a workaholic and a heavy smoker, consuming up to 60 cigarettes a day or even more.

In May 2008, it was declared by law that all of Larsson's assets would be inherited by his father and brother. Eva Gabrielssson, his long-time partner, legally did not receive any share of his estate, leading to a series of disputes. According to reports, Larsson and Gabrielssson did not marry because Swedish legislation at the time required married couples to disclose their addresses publicly, posing a significant threat to their safety. Due to constant intimidation from extremist groups, the couple frequently changed their addresses, personal details, and even identification numbers to protect their privacy. However, for journalists, concealing their identity is not uncommon.

Stig Larsson altered the spelling of his original name 'Stig' to 'Stieg' to avoid confusion with his friend, who had become a popular author long before Larsson's fame. Both friends were amateur photographers and decided to toss a coin to determine who would change their name. Nevertheless, irrespective of the spelling, both words are pronounced the same.

Literary Success

By the time of his death, Larsson had completed the Millennium trilogy, but it had not been published. He wrote the trilogy for pleasure, in the evenings, after returning home from work, without any intention of sharing his work with the public. The first book, 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' was published in Sweden in 2005 and subsequently in England. In the same year, the novel received the title of 'Best Nordic Crime Novel' and won the prestigious 'Glass Key' award. The second novel, 'The Girl Who Played with Fire,' was awarded 'Best Swedish Crime Novel' in 2006. Finally, the third book, 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest,' was released in the United States in May 2010.

An adaptation of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is expected to be released in 2012, with Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Carey Mulligan announced as the main actors.