Born: 15 August 1954
Died: 9 November 2004 (heart attack)
Birthplace: Skelleftehamn, Sweden
Best known as: The author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Name at birth: Karl Stig-Erland Larsson
Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist who became famous after his death -- as the author of posthumously published novels in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Larsson was a left-wing, rabble-rousing journalist with a keen interest in exposing right-wing extremists in Europe. While holding down a job as a graphic designer for the news service Tidningarnas Telegrambyra (1977-99), Larsson had a side career as an expert on neo-fascist, white supremacist movements. He lectured, wrote articles and helped found his own political magazine, Expo, in 1995. A furious worker, he died at the age of 50 after climbing several flights of stairs to his office. As it turns out, Larsson had written three full-length crime novels in his spare time and had only just signed a publishing contract. The first in the series, The Man Who Hated Women, was published in Sweden in 2005 -- a year after Larsson's death -- under the title The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It received enough notice that it was translated and published in the U.K. in 2008. That was followed by The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, and by 2011 the three novels, known as the Millennium Trilogy, were international bestsellers, as well as the basis for a successful film franchise starring Noomi Rapace as the story's protagonist, Lisbeth Salander. The film franchise was then Americanized by David Fincher in 2011, with Rooney Mara as Salander.
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