Born Dec. 4, 1861, in Möðruvðllir; died Dec. 13, 1922, in Reykjavík. Icelandic state and political figure, poet; a lawyer by education.
In the early 20th century Denmark increased the autonomy of Iceland, and in 1904, Hafstein became the first minister of Icelandic affairs domiciled in Reykjavik. He served as minister until 1909 and again from 1912 to 1914. From 1907 to 1918 he was a member of the Danish-Icelandic commission for developing proposals on the constitutional situation of Iceland. He became a deputy to the Althing in 1900 and served as its speaker in 1912. Hafstein belonged to the conservative wing of the Independence Party.