Henrik turns 82 years old on the first page of the book. He was a widower and married to a Jewish woman. Also, we know that he helped her wife to escape from Germany during World War II. This made him a hero in her eyes. In some ways, he’s at the center of all moves in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, is somehow connected with each of the novel various spheres and themes. He is an industrialist and former C.E.O of Vanger Industries. He is obsessed with the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet more than forty years earlier. Henrik hires Mikael Blomkvist to solve the mystery, saying that he is writing a story about his family.
Henrik Vanger in the Essays