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'Diplomat's daughter' Guri Lie Zeckendorf dies.

Guri Lie Zeckendorf died at her home in New York City on Wednesday, September 22 after a long illness.

Born in Grorud, Norway, a borough of the city of Oslo, she was the last surviving daughter of Trygve Lie, the first Secretary-General of the United Nations, and his beloved wife of 47 years, HjordisJorgensen Lie.

On June 10,1940, she and her family were evacuated on the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire along with King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government, having eluded the Nazis for two harrowing months after the Germans invaded Norway in World War II.

She lived in England from 1940 to 1945 while her father served as Foreign Minister of Norway's government-in-exile, and attended Roedean School.

Upon graduation she was drafted into the Norwegian Woman's Army Corps. Entitled to a deferment because of her father's diplomatic position, Miss Lie nonetheless chose to serve her country, receiving her training at Maxwelton House in Dumfrieshire, Scotland.

First assigned to the Quartermaster's Office, she was promoted to the London headquarters of the Norwegian Army High Command and worked there until the end of the war. During that time she became acquainted with the Princess Royal, who was serving in the British Army's Auxiliary Territorial Services--today, Queen Elizabeth II.

After the war Miss Lie returned briefly to Norway before continuing her studies in Paris and Zurich.

She served as her father's social secretary in the latter part of his tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations, accompanying him on his historic trip to Russia to meet with Joseph Stalin.

Among her numerous acquaintances were President Harry S. Truman and his family, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller and Dag Hammarskjold, who succeeded Trygve Lie as Secretary-General of the U.N.

After her father returned to Norway in 1953, Miss Lie remained in the United States and embarked upon a national speaking tour as "A Diplomat's Daughter," engaging large and enthusiastic audiences with her firsthand accounts of diplomatic life during the formative years of the United Nations.

In 1956, Guri Lie married William Zeckendorf, Jr., son of the prominent American real estate developer William Zeckendorf, Sr., chairman of Webb and Knapp, who was responsible for reshaping much of the urban landscape of Manhattan--including the transformation of New York's slaughterhouse district on the East Side into the world headquarters of the United Nations.

They had two sons, William Lie Zeckendorf and Arthur William Zeckendorf, principles in Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property Company, one of New York's largest real estate developers, most famously known for 15 Central Park West, one of Manhattan's most prestigious condominium buildings. The couple was divorced in 1963.

Mrs. Zeckendorf was an art enthusiast who took great interest in young Norwegian painters and the exhibitions held at the Trygve Lie Gallery at 317 East 52nd Street. She enjoyed classical music and travel, maintained a lifelong interest in the United Nations, and was devoted to the memory of her father and his legacy. A Lutheran, she regularly attended the Norwegian Seamen's Church of New York.

In addition to her beloved sons and daughters-in-law, Mrs. Zeckendorf is survived by two grandchildren, Arthur William Zeckendorf III and Jennifer Young Zeckendorf.

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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:4EXNO
Date:Oct 27, 2010
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