Urho Kekkonen

eighth President of Finland (1900–1986)

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (pronounced [ˈurho ˈkekːonen] (About this soundlisten); 3 September 1900 – 31 August 1986), often referred to by his initials UKK, was the President of Finland between 1956 and 1982. He was also Prime Minister of Finland before that.

Urho Kekkonen
Urho Kaleva Kekkonen.jpg
8th President of Finland
In office
1 March 1956 – 27 January 1982
Preceded byJuho Kusti Paasikivi
Succeeded byMauno Koivisto
Prime Minister of Finland
In office
20 October 1954 – 3 March 1956
PresidentJuho Kusti Paasikivi
Preceded byRalf Törngren
Succeeded byKarl-August Fagerholm
In office
17 March 1950 – 17 November 1953
PresidentJuho Kusti Paasikivi
Preceded byKarl-August Fagerholm
Succeeded bySakari Tuomioja
Personal details
Born(1900-09-03)3 September 1900
Pielavesi, Finland, Russian Empire
Died31 August 1986(1986-08-31) (aged 85)
Helsinki, Finland
Political partyAgrarian League 1933–1965: Centre Party 1965–1982
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Spouse(s)Sylvi Salome Uino
ChildrenMatti, Taneli
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki
ProfessionLawyer, police officer, journalist

Kekkonen was born in Pielavesi. He took part of the Finnish Civil War. He studied law and then worked in the Finnish secret police. He opposed the Communists and later fascists.

Kekkonen became the Interior Minister in 1937, and he then tried to ban the fascist party IKL.

After Second World War, in the year 1950 Kekkonen became the first time Prime Minister of Finland. He tried to keep good relations with the Soviet Union like president Juho Kusti Paasikivi.

The foreign policy doctrine established by Paasikivi and Kekkonen, The "Paasikivi-Kekkonen line", aimed at Finland's survival as an independent sovereign, democratic, and capitalist country in the immediate proximity of the Soviet Union.[1]

Kekkonen was elected the President of Finland in 1956, after president Paasikivi. He tried to keep Finland neutral country, which means it was not part of any military alliance like NATO or Warsaw Pact in Cold War.

Urho Kekkonen led the underwriting of the Helsinki Accords of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe between European countries, United States and Soviet Union in 1975.

Kekkonen became sick in 1981 and gave up the presidency.

He died in 1986, aged 86.