Stieg Larsson (August 15, 1954 - November 9, 2004) was a Swedish journalist and writer. He was born in Skelleftehamn outside Skellefteå, Sweden as Karl Stig-Erland Larsson.
Stieg Larsson was initially a political activist for the Kommunistiska Arbetareförbundet (Communist Workers League), a photographer, and one of Sweden's leading science fiction fans. In politics, he was the editor of the Swedish Trotskyite journal Fjärde internationalen; as a science fiction fan, he was co-editor or editor of several fanzines, including Sfären, Fijagh!, and others; in 1978-1979 he was President of the largest Swedish sf fan club, Skandinavisk förening för science fiction (SFSF).
In 1981, Larsson went to work for the largest Swedish news agency, TT. His political convictions as well as his journalistic experiences led him to initiate the Swedish Expo foundation, similar to the British Searchlight Foundation and set up to expose racist and totalitarian organizations and tendencies; he also became the editor of the foundation's magazine Expo. Larsson quickly became instrumental in documenting and exposing Swedish extreme right and racist organisations; was an influential debater, lecturer and leading expert, and lived for years under more or less serious death threats from political enemies. When he died at the age of 50, Larsson left three completed but unpublished works.
The first was published in the UK in January 2008 as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and was published in the US in September 2008.
In this book, the author carefully dissects many aspects of modern life; in particular, journalistic ethics and society's treatment of women. The novel contains corporate skulduggery, family feuds and violent murder and in parts is very involving.
In addition to the drawn out beginning, Larsson's outlook on human nature is pessimistically bleak and there are some violent scenes that make for uncomfortable reading.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was awarded the prestigious Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005; his second, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award 2006.
At his death he left an unfinished manuscript of a fourth novel in the series, but it is not yet clear whether this will be published. There exists also synopsis of a fifth and a sixth book. Larssons idea had been to write in total ten books in the serie. A TV series of the three books are in the works from Yellow Bird Films in Ystad, Sweden. Each book will be coved in two episodes (a total of six episodes in 90-minutes). The first two episodes will be cut together as a movie and shown at cinemas, while the other episodes will be released direcly on DVD in december 2009. The serie will be broascast at swedish television during 2010.
He died in Stockholm of a massive heart attack, in 2004. Rumours that his death was in some way suspicious as he had previously received death threats when editor of Expo have been denied.
In May 2008, it was announced that the 1977 testament of Larsson had been found not long after his death in which he declares his wish to donate all his money to the Umeå branch of the Communist Workers League (today called Socialistiska Partiet). As the will was unwitnessed, it is not valid under Swedish law, with the result that all of Larsson's money and future income from book sales continues to go to his father and brother. His long term partner, Eva Gabrielsson, who found his will, has no legal right to the inheritance. This has sparked some controversy and exposed what many media have considered a flaw in Swedish inheritance legislation.