Aatos Erkko

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Aatos Erkko in 1963.

Aatos Juho Michel Erkko (16 September 1932[1] – 5 May 2012[2]) was a Finnish journalist and the main owner of Sanoma Corporation and the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.[3]

According to Helsingin Sanomat, for years on end Aatos Erkko was the wealthiest person in Finland.[4] He controlled directly or indirectly 23.29% of the Sanoma Corporation shares,[5] amounting to more than €453 million at the then-current trading price (29 July 2009).[6]


Editor of Viikkosanomat, Aatos Erkko on year 1953.

Aatos Erkko was born in Helsinki. Aatos and Jane Erkko (née Airola) married in 1959, but did not have any children.[4]

His father was the politician and journalist Eljas Erkko, and his mother was the English-born Eugenia Violet Sutcliffe.[3] Erkko's grandfather Eero Erkko was also a journalist and politician, best remembered as the founder of Helsingin Sanomat.


Erkko earned a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Columbia College of Columbia University.[3]


Sanoma made initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch during Aatos Erkko time. The international journalism was also important. Sanoma has a school for reporters' education and several own reporters abroad, e.g. Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Italy, France, United States, China and India.[7]


Aatos Erkko was the largest single owner of Finland's largest media concern, holding just over 23% of the Sanoma stock. As one of the key part of Sanoma, Helsingin Sanomat is the largest newspaper by circulation in the entire Nordic region. The value of his assets were in 2012 estimated as of €600 million. Ca €300 million is in international securities managed by an investment company registered in Switzerland.[4]


Aatos Erkko gave once a donation of €2.9 million to the University of Helsinki for the establishment of a professorship.[8]

Donations included an expensive equipment bought for the Helsinki University Central Hospital and large support for the Nature Center of the Nuuksio National Park.

Finnish Nature Centre Haltia[edit]

The million euros funding from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for the Nature Centre Haltia at Nuuksio is meant for enabling ecological features to be incorporated into the centre’s design. Innovative ways to exploit solar energy and thermal energy from the ground will make the centre 75% self-sufficient in terms of heating, and its cooling system will be 100% self-sufficient. The centre is due to be completed by January 2013. It will present the best of Finland’s natural features and biodiversity, and enable people living in or visiting the Helsinki area to get perspectives on the natural wonders of the whole country.[9][10][11]


Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation donated €415,000 for child disease diagnostics in 2011.[12]


See also[edit]