Reverend Rögnvaldur Pétursson, (1877-1940), was born in Iceland on August 14, 1877. He migrated with his parents in 1883 to Hallson, North Dakota, where he grew up and received his public and high school education. The young man decided to study for the Unitarian ministry and proceeded to the Unitarian Theological Seminary at Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he received his B.D. degree in 1902. He accepted a call to the Unitarian Church in Winnipeg in 1903, where he served for six years. He was then appointed Field Secretary of the Icelandic Unitarian Church in America. In 1928 he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Meadville Seminary and in 1930 was awarded an Honorary Doctor's Degree from the University of Iceland.
Dr. Pétursson took the lead in the establishment of the Icelandic National League in 1919 and became its first president. Right from the start the League has published an Annual of a high literary standard. Dr. Pétursson became its first editor, a post he held until he died.