|Godtfred Kirk Christiansen|
Co-Founder of The LEGO Company
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Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (July 8, 1919 – July 13, 1995) is the third son of Ole Kirk Christiansen, the founder of the LEGO Group. He was married to Edith Kirk Christiansen. Godtfred and Edith had 3 children, Gunhild Kirk Johansen, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and Hanne Christiansen. Box Art designs from the 1950’s show all three of their children playing with LEGO bricks
In 1950, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen became Junior Vice President of the company on his 31st birthday. From the hand-written letter signed by the entire family:
"Sincere best wishes on the Big Day. We want you to know we appreciate and are grateful for what you have done for the company so far. Confident that you will continue to do your best in the interest of the LEGO name, we hereby appoint you today, Saturday, July 8, 1950, junior managing director of A/S LEGO and A/S Kirk Christiansen."
After being appointed Junior Managing Director from 1950, he was appointed Managing Director in 1956. When his father died in 1958, he became President of the board of directors, and by 1960 Godtfred had bought out his three brothers to become sole proprietor of the LEGO Group.
In October 1969 Hanne and Kjeld were driving home from a movie in the neighboring town of Give. Their car skidded off the road and hit a tree. Hanne was killed and Kjeld was seriously injured. The tragedy so shook Godtfred that he seriously considered selling the company. His son, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, became president and CEO of the LEGO Group in 1979.