He was born Kurt Vestergaard on July 13, 1935, in Jutland, Denmark, the peninsula bordered by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Raised in a conservative Christian family, he experienced what he described as religious liberation as a high school student. He then enrolled at the University of Copenhagen to study psychology, then taught German and worked at a school for students with disabilities in Djursland. He joined Jyllands-Posten in 1983 and retired in 2010 when he was 75.
His survivors include his wife, Gitte; their five children; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
In 2008, Mr. Westergaard won the Sappho Prize from the Free Press Society of Denmark. In 2010 he received the M100 Media Award from German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his contributions to freedom of opinion.
“I want to be remembered as the one who struck a blow at freedom of speech,” he once said. “But there is no doubt that others will remember me as a Satan who insulted the religion of a billion people. “
Mr Westergaard and his wife lived in high security after authorities thwarted the first assassination attempt against him in 2006, although it was difficult to hide a man so often neatly dressed in red pants , a black wide-brimmed hat and a giraffe-headed step. paste.
He has chosen to live openly in Aarhus in recent years.
“I don’t see myself as a particularly brave man,” he told The Guardian in 2010, adding: “But in this situation, I got angry. It is not fair that you are threatened in your own country just because you are doing your job. It is an absurdity that I actually took advantage of, because it gives me a certain distrust and stubbornness. I will not stand it. And that really reduces fear a lot.