Einar Henry Gerhardsen, 90, a trade unionist turned politician who became the main architect of Norway's welfare state and led three postwar Labor governments, died in Oslo Sept. 19. The cause of his death was not reported.

Mr. Gerhardsen, a largely self-educated man and son of a construction worker, also headed the Labor Party for 20 years. He was imprisoned by the Nazis when they invaded Norway while he was mayor of Oslo.

A native of Asker, Norway, Mr. Gerhardsen grew up in Oslo. He entered the Young Socialist movement as a teen-ager and soon became active in trade union and Labor Party activities.

He was elected mayor of Oslo and was acting chairman of the Labor Party when Germany invaded Norway on April 9, 1940. He was imprisoned two years later and held until the war ended.

Upon his release on May 8, 1945, Gerhardsen resumed his position as Oslo mayor and was elected Labor Party chairman.

In June 1945, he was asked by King Haakon VII to form Norway's first postwar Cabinet, a coalition of all major political parties. Mr. Gerhardsen formed his first Labor Party government that October when the party won a majority in Parliament.

He continued as premier after the 1949 general elections, and resigned in November 1951 for personal reasons. In January 1955, he again took over as premier, stepping down a decade later when a nonsocialist coalition headed by Center Party leader Per Borten assumed power.


84, a retired civil engineer with the General Services Administration, died of cancer Sept. 19 at his home in Kensington.

Mr. O'Brien was born in Cambridge, Mass. He grew up in the Washington area and graduated from the old Central High School and Catholic University.

He went to work for the federal government during the late 1920s and was a civil engineer for various agencies. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific. He returned to his government career after the war and joined the GSA when it was organized in 1949. He retired in 1965.

He was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington.

His wife, Bertha Trapp O'Brien, died in 1968. Survivors include two daughters, Maureen Kirkland of Riva, Md., and Eileen Fitzpatrick of Kensington, and seven grandchildren.