Eeva Ahtisaari was the wife of the late Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She was a teacher, a historian, and a First Lady of Finland from 1994 to 2000. She was also involved in women’s issues and peace work in Namibia, where she was awarded honorary citizenship. She died on October 16, 2023, at the age of 87, following her husband who passed away on the same day. In this post, we will explore her life, career, family, and legacy in more detail.
Eeva Ahtisaari Biography Profile
|Date of Birth||18 June 1936|
|Birth Place||Varkaus, Finland|
|Age (as of 2023)||87|
|Profession||Teacher, Historian, First Lady of Finland (1994-2000)|
|Home Town/State||Helsinki, Finland|
|School||Girls’ Lyceum, Kuopio|
|College||University of Helsinki|
|Educational Qualification||B.A. in History (1962), M.A. in History (1989)|
Eeva Ahtisaari Early Life and Education:
Eeva Ahtisaari was born in Varkaus, eastern Finland, in 1936. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a housewife. She grew up in Kuopio and Helsinki, where she attended the Girls’ Lyceum High School. She graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in history. She also studied museums and museum education in the United Kingdom in 1972.
|Wife/Husband||Martti Ahtisaari (m. 1968; died 2023)|
|Children||Marko Ahtisaari (son)|
Eeva Ahtisaari worked as a history teacher in Kuopio, Rovaniemi and Espoo in the 1960s and 1970s. She also worked as a curator of an open-air museum and a homestead museum in Espoo, where she emphasized the importance of preserving old architecture and restoring old buildings. She accompanied her husband Martti Ahtisaari to Tanzania, Namibia and New York, where he served as a diplomat and a UN official.
She became deeply involved in local women’s political and social issues in Namibia, where she helped improve relations between conflicting women’s groups and contributed to the independence process. She was awarded honorary citizenship of Namibia for her efforts. She resumed her studies at the University of Helsinki in the late 1980s and obtained a master’s degree in history in 1989. Her thesis dealt with one of the first Finnish female politicians, Hilda Käkikoski.
She was the First Lady of Finland from 1994 to 2000, when her husband was elected as the president of Finland. She supported his peace work and promoted human rights and democracy. She also participated in an oral history project on Finnish parliamentarians from 1990 to 1993. Her autobiography Roots and Wings was published in 2002. In March 2020, she tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a concert at the Helsinki Music Centre.