Trygve Lie Plaza honors the memory of Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie (1896-1968), the first Secretary-General of the United Nations. The park was acquired by the City of New York in 1948 in connection with the widening of First Avenue and named for Lie in 1998. It is one of three parks in Turtle Bay named for former UN officials.
Lie was born in Oslo, Norway on July 16, 1896 and educated at the University of Oslo. Upon receiving his law degree in 1919, he went into practice. Lie married Hjørdis Jørgensen in 1921, and they had three children—Sissel, Guri and Mette. A member of the Labor Party since he was a teenager, Lie quickly rose within the party ranks. He was an assistant to the secretary of the party from 1919 to 1922, legal adviser to the Norwegian Trade Union Federation from 1922 to 1935, and national executive secretary of the party in 1926.