Alf Erik Holger Lundquist was born in 1908 in Stockholm, Sweden. His parents' marriage was short-lived, and their only child, Holger, grew up with his mother Hanna. She came from a little farm in the village of Ödestugu in the province of Småland and later opened a grocer's shop in the city. Holger was brought up in a loving home, although not in the most materially comfortable circumstances.
His mother put great effort into running the grocery business, and was firmly determined to help her son obtain a good education. After taking his school certificate at the Östra Real upper secondary school in 1927, Holger enrolled at the Stockholm School of Economics. Business and economics had been a part of the young man's life since early childhood.
While studying at the Stockholm School of Economics, Holger Crafoord was ’discovered’ by the Scanish industrialist Ruben Rausing. In 1930, aged 22 and described as the best student in the School, Holger was recruited by the packaging company, Åkerlund & Rausing. He thereby became a resident of the city of Lund, and remained so for the rest of his life. In 1935, Holger married Anna-Greta Löfdal from Helsingborg and the couple had three daughters: Birgitta, Katarina and Margareta.
Towards the end of his life, Holger Crafoord suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis.
When he died on May 21st 1982, Lund lost one of the greatest figures in the city’s history.