Francisco de Asís León Bogislao de Greiff Haeusler (July 22, 1895 – July 11, 1976), was a Colombian poet known for his stylistic innovations and deliberately eclectic use of obscure lexicon. Best known simply as León de Greiff, he often used different pen names. The most popular were Leo le Gris and Gaspar de Nuit. De Greiff was one of the founders of Los Panidas, a literary and artistic group established in 1915 in the city of Medellín. It was a precursor of the modernismo movement in Colombia.
De Greiff was born on July 22, 1895 in the city of Medellín, Colombia to Luis de Greiff Obregón and Amalia Haeusler Rincóna. His father was of Swedish ancestry and was the grandson of Karl Sigismund Fromholt von Greiffb, a Swedish engineer and geographer who moved to Colombia in 1825 and whose family had played an active role in the abdication of King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden. De Greiff's mother was of German descent, the daughter of Heinrich Häuslera (a German mechanic and cabinetmaker who emigrated to Colombia in 1839). De Greiff was also the great-grandson of Francisco Antonio Obregón Muñoz, who had been Governor of Antioquia between 1836 and 1841.
Greiff was baptized on August 11, 1895 at the Church Parish of Veracruz by Fr. Pedro Alejandrino Zuluaga with the names Francisco de Asís, in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi, and León, in honour of Leo Tolstoy. His godparents were his paternal aunt Rosa Emma de Greiff Obregón and her husband Luis Vásquez Barrientos. Although of mixed Scandinavian-Germanic-Spanish-Criollo heritage, de Greiff's family had a strong Colombian identity and were part of standing mainstream Colombian society. His family background influenced many of his later works. He had four siblings, Leticia, Laura, Otto, and Olaf, and a half brother, Luis Eduardo.
On July 23, 1927 de Greiff married María Teresa Matilde Bernal Nicholls, a Colombian of English descent whom he met through his sister Leticia. They were married in a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Cathedral of Villanueva officiated by fr. Bernardo Jaramillo Arango a mutual friend of both families. Together they had four children: Astrid, an architect; Boris, a renowned chess player; Hjalmar, a cellist and editor; and Axel an architect who resettled in Sweden.
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