Reykjavik, Iceland — Vigdis Finnbogadottir, a champion of leftist causes and opponent of NATO, became the world's first popularly elected woman head of state Monday by beating three men in Iceland's presidential election. (Margaret Thatcher of Britain is, by contrast, head of government.)
Mrs. Finnbogadottir, taking over the largely ceremonial post, has not had any political training in a career that has included teaching French, guiding tourists, starring on television, and directing plays. But opponents were more concerned over her support for leftist causes, including demands for the removal of NATO forces in the strategic North atlantic nation.
This was Iceland's fourth presidential election since it won independence from Denmark in 1944.