Göran Persson was born on 20 January 1949, in Vingåker, Sörmland, the fourth of five children. Upon completing his secondary education, specializing in chemistry, he went on to study sociology and later political science at the University College of Öbrero. In 1971, he left his studies to work in the district organization of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League in Sörmland. After completing his military service (1973–74), Persson became an official of the Workers Educational Association in Sörmland and taught economics, mathematics, and social studies at various high schools. He became chairman of the Katrineholm Local Educational Committee (1977–79) prior to his entry into Swedish national politics in 1979. Persson was married for a second time in 1995 to Annika, who works in county government in southern Sweden. In 2002, Persson filed for divorce from his wife after seven years of marriage. The couple did not have children together. His personal interests include reading, art, architecture, and cooking.