Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was a Finnish statesman and military leader who served as the leader of the White Guard during the Finnish Civil War of 1918. He also played a key role during World War II where he served as the Chief of Defense of Finland's defense forces. Thanks to his achievements, Mannerheim is regarded as Finland's greatest statesman.
Sauli Niinistö went from being a lawyer and a rural police chief to leading Finland as its 12th president. Part of the National Coalition Party till 2012, he was the first conservative head of state in Finland since the 1950s. He has also led his country as its minister of justice and finance.
Urho Kekkonen was the eighth and longest-serving president of Finland. He was noted for continuing and further developing the Paasikivi-Kekkonen doctrine established by his predecessor President Juho Kusti Paasikivi aiming survival of Finland as an independent nation in immediate proximity of the Soviet Union. Kekkonen earlier held several ministerial and legislative posts including serving as as Prime Minister of Finland.
Finland’s 11th president, Tarja Halonen was also the first Finnish female politician to hold the post. Initially a lawyer at the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, she stepped into politics as the parliamentary secretary of Finnish prime minister Kalevi Sorsa. She has also been Finland’s minister of justice and foreign affairs.
Martti Ahtisaari is a Finnish politician who served as the tenth president of Finland; he was in office from 1994 to 2000. In 2008, he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for playing an important role in resolving long-lasting and serious conflicts, such as the ones in Namibia and Iraq. In 2008, he was also awarded the Delta Prize for Global Understanding.
Finland’s 5th president and 14th prime minister, Risto Ryti had also led his country as its minister of finance. Known for his economic policies, he was one of then most prominent political figures of his country during the interwar period. He is also remembered for authoring the 1944 Ryti–Ribbentrop Agreement.
Finnish politician Kyösti Kallio, who represented the Agrarian League, or the Center Party of Finland, had also led his country as its 4th president and 8th prime minister. He later became the first Finnish president to resign and also the only one who died in office, after he passed away following his farewell ceremonies.
The 9th president of Finland, Finnish politician Mauno Koivisto had also been a 2-time prime minister of his country. The Social Democratic Party member had served as a corporal with the Finnish Army and had also participated in the Winter War, or the First Soviet-Finnish War.
The 7th president of Finland, Juho Kusti Paasikivi has also been his country’s prime minister. He had chaired the Senate of Finland, too. He is chiefly remembered for his post-World War II foreign policies. Initially an academician of law, he later turned to banking and insurance management and, eventually, to politics.
The 3rd president of Finland, Pehr Evind Svinhufvud had also previously been the country’s prime minister twice. A rightist politician and a National Coalition Party member, he had a huge role in crushing Finland’s Communist Party. Initially a lawyer and judge, he later led the Finnish independence movement.
Finland’s 1st president, Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg was one of the first politicians to introduce republicanism in Finland. A lawyer and judge, he initially taught law and economics at the University of Helsinki. The National Progressive Party member is also remembered as one of the main figures behind the Finnish constitution.