A leading Norwegian humanist, Fragell after receiving his M.A. in comparative religion worked in education, journalism, and public relations. When seventeen, however, he had started his professional life as a preacher in a Pentecostal church.
Fragell was President of the Norwegian Humanist Association (1976-1981), its Secretary General (1982-1991), and Editor from 1976 to 1997 of its Human-Etikk (later The Humanist). The Association, which was founded in 1956, had since 1976 increased its membership in 1999 to 60,000 from 1,700 paying members.
After serving as Vice-President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), he became President in 1998. He was the first IHEU President to visit Africa, south of the Sahara. Fragell is contributing editor to Free Inquiry and is on the editorial board of International Humanist News.
He has taken part in all IHEU congresses since the one in London in 1978. In 1996, he and sixteen Norwegian humanists attended the fourth World Atheist Conference in Vijayawada, India. He also attended the 1996 Humanist World Congress held in Mexico City, participating on a panel which discussed philosophic humanism in the cyber-age. In 1997, following the meeting of IHEU board of directors meeting, he spoke at the annual humanist lunch in London and also was featured speaker on the occasion of Humanist Days in Finland.
Fragell signed Humanist Manifesto 2000.