Anna Lindh was born on 19 June 1957 in Stockholm. She is the eldest child of Staffan Lindh, an artist, and Nancy Westman, a teacher. Anna and her younger sister Sara grew up in the town of Enköping. Anna became interested in politics at the age of twelve when she joined the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League. That was the same year that Olof Palme became the leader of the Social Democratic Party and the Swedish Prime Minister. The politician was to be a leading figure for the young woman.
Anna studied law in Stockholm and pursued a political career in which the defence of human rights was a central theme. In 1982, the year she graduated, the Social Democratic Party won the elections and Anna Lindh was one of the young women elected to the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag. In 1991, she joined the executive committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. Anna Lindh is considered by many observers to be one of the most successful Swedish politicians of her generation.
Married to Bo Holmberg, a regional prefect and mother of two boys, Anna Lindh is very discreet about her private life. She lives about 100 kilometres from Stockholm.
For Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson, she was an obvious choice as a minister in the government in 1994, a government that consisted of an equal number of women and men. She was appointed Minister for the Environment.
After the parliamentary elections in 1998, Anna Lindh became Minister for Foreign Affairs. She contributed to a stronger Swedish presence on the international stage, advocated strengthening the powers of the United Nations and the European Union and the adoption of a common foreign policy line, particularly in the prevention of international conflicts.
When the war against Iraq broke out in 2003, Anna Lindh declared that "a war waged without the support of the UN Charter is a great setback" and later spoke out against the US intervention in Iraq in 2003.
Over the years, Anna Lindh has become a strong advocate of the European Union. She played an important role during the Swedish EU Presidency in 2001 and spoke out in favour of joining the monetary union. But three days before the referendum on the euro, Anna Lindh died at the age of 46, murdered by stabbing at the NK shop in Stockholm.
The Anna Lindh Foundation, created in 2005, works to bring people on both sides of the Mediterranean closer together in order to improve mutual respect between cultures.