Thor Heyerdahl - Youth and Personal Life

Youth and Personal Life

Heyerdahl was born in Larvik, the son of master brewer Thor Heyerdahl and his wife Alison Lyng. As a young child, Heyerdahl showed a strong interest in zoology. He created a small museum in his childhood home, with a Vipera berus as the main attraction. He studied zoology and geography at the University of Oslo. At the same time, he privately studied Polynesian culture and history, consulting what was then the world's largest private collection of books and papers on Polynesia, owned by Bjarne Kropelien, a wealthy wine merchant in Oslo. This collection was later purchased by the University of Oslo Library from Kropelien's heirs and was attached to the Kon-Tiki Museum research department. After seven terms and consultations with experts in Berlin, a project was developed and sponsored by Heyerdahl's zoology professors, Kristine Bonnevie and Hjalmar Broch. He was to visit some isolated Pacific island groups and study how the local animals had found their way there.

Just before sailing together to the Marquesas Islands in 1936, Heyerdahl married his first wife, Liv Coucheron-Torp (b. 1916), whom he had met shortly before enrolling at the university, and who had studied economics there. Though she is conspicuously absent from many of his papers and talks, Liv participated in nearly all of Thor's journeys, with the exception of the Kon-Tiki expedition. The couple had two sons; Thor Jr and Bjørn. The marriage ended in divorce.

In 1949 Heyerdahl married Yvonne Dedekam-Simonsen. They had three daughters: Annette, Marian and Helene Elisabeth. They were divorced in 1969. Heyerdahl blamed their separation on his being away from home and differences in their ideas for bringing up children. In his autobiography, he concluded that he should take the entire blame for their separation.

In 1991, Heyerdahl married Jacqueline Beer (b. 1932) as his third wife. They lived in Tenerife, Canary Islands and were very actively involved with archaeological projects, especially in Tucume, Peru, and Azov until his unexpected death in 2002. He still had been hoping to undertake an archaeological project in Samoa before he died.

Heyerdahl died on April 18, 2002, in Colla Micheri in Italy where he had gone to spend the Easter holidays with some of his closest family members. The Norwegian government gave him a state funeral in Oslo Cathedral on April 26, 2002. He is buried in the garden of the family home in Colla Micheri.

Read more about this topic:  Thor Heyerdahl

Other articles related to "personal, life, youth and personal life, personal life":

Young Women (organization) - In The Church Today - Personal Progress
... encouraged to participate in the organization's Personal Progress program ... Personal Progress is a goal-setting and achievement program, the stated purpose of which is to help each young woman Know she is a daughter of God rely upon the ...
Kelvin Goertzen - Personal
2006, he published a book on the life of Jim Penner, his predecessor in the Legislature, entitled A Life Well Lived The Story of Jim Penner and Penner ...
Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl Of Essex - Youth and Personal Life
... The 2nd Earl led an unsuccessful rebellion against Elizabeth in 1601 ... He was subsequently executed for treason and the family lost its title ...
Personal Life - Sociology
... The notion of a personal life, as now understood, is in part a creation of modern Western society ... times, many people have come to think of their personal lives as separate from their work ... such rigid distinctions between work and play, in order to achieve an "appropriate" work–life balance ...
Keith Jackson - Biography - Personal
... On the subject of writing a book, Jackson has admitted that he's considered it, but joked that he would only sit down and work on one if he were to ever lose his golf swing. ...

Famous quotes containing the words youth and, life, youth and/or personal:

    When the merry bells ring round,
    And the jocund rebecks sound
    To many a youth and many a maid,
    Dancing in the chequered shade;
    And young and old come forth to play
    On a sunshine holiday,
    John Milton (1608–1674)

    On the grey rock of Cashel I suddenly saw
    A Sphinx with woman breast and lion paw,
    A Buddha, hand at rest,
    Hand lifted up that blest;
    And right between these two a girl at play
    That, it may be, had danced her life away....
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Hail, bounteous May, that does inspire
    Mirth and youth and warm desire!
    Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
    Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
    Thus we salute thee with our early song,
    And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
    John Milton (1608–1674)

    We now in the United States have more security guards for the rich than we have police services for the poor districts. If you’re looking for personal security, far better to move to the suburbs than to pay taxes in New York.
    John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)