The desire for Thor Halvorssen to fight for freedom could have its roots in his parents’ bloodline. His mother, Hilda Mendoza, is a descendant of Venezuela’s first president, Simon Bolivar, who helped Latin America gain its independence from Spain. His paternal grandfather, who served as the King of Norway’s representative in Venezuela during World War II, ordered all his country’s merchant ships to Venezuela after Norway fell to Germany. When a couple of Nazis confronted Halvorssen’s grandfather about it, he responded with fisticuffs. His parents have also been on the frontlines for freedom. Halvorssen’s father was jailed for investigating government corruption. His mother was shot and wounded during a demonstration against late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Now it is Thor Halvorssen’s turn to take up the cause. While many human rights groups target places like Guantanamo Bay, where numerous terrorist suspects are imprisoned, Halvorssen has his sights set on bigger targets, including North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un. For years, Halvorssen and his Human Rights Foundation has aided dissident groups against what many consider the most oppressive regime in the world. He has encouraged “Hack Them Back” campaigns following the Sony hack, and sent balloons into North Korea with USB drives containing things like Wikipedia articles and South Korean TV shows, both of which could result in arrest if found in the possession of any North Korean citizen. Halvorssen has also targeted other countries for human rights violations, including Cuba, Vietnam, and Equatorial Guinea.
A regular contributor to Forbes, Thor Halvorssen was born Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza in 1976. He was educated in America at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received degrees in political science and history. Halvorssen served as the executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education before forming the Human Rights Foundation.
For his political leanings, Halvorssen describes himself as a “classical liberal.” He has also described himself as a health nut, to the point he takes 35 supplements a day. Halvorssen also plans to have himself cryogenically frozen. Follow Thor on Facebook to stay up to date with news and events.