Amos Anderson

Amos Valentin Anderson was born on September 3rd, 1878 in Brokärr in Kimito. He received his education at the Institute of Economics in Turku and supplemented it with studies in economics in Göttingen and London, and in insurance business in Berlin. In the years 1902– 1907, Amos Anderson worked as an actuary at an insurance company called Industriidkarnas Brandförsäkringsbolag. He was the publisher of Försäkrings Tidskrift (”Insurance magazine”) from 1905 to 1913. In 1906 he founded the general economic magazine Mercator in Helsinki and served as its publisher for several decades. Anderson was also the publisher of Finsk tidskrift (”Finnish magazine”) 1908–1940.

In 1909, Anderson founded the Mercator printing house in Helsinki. In the 1910s, he acquired a majority stake in Tilgmann’s Lithographic Institute. In 1911 he started Dagens Tidning, a magazine which existed for only two years. Anyhow, the investment made him richer in experience. In 1920, he participated in the formation of a new company, which took over the publishing house that published Hufvudstadsbladet and Dagens Press.

Amos Anderson was the Managing Director of Hufvudstadsbladet 1921–1936. Meanwhile, he was the responsible publisher and editor-in-chief. He formally remained editor-in- chief until 1945. He was chairman of Finlands Tidningsläggareförbund, the Finnish Newspaper Publishers’ Association, 1925–1938. Anderson was already building his future fortune before the First World War through significant property purchases in the center of Helsinki. He realized early on that wealth also meant obligations to people and society. He understood the connection between material and spiritual culture and was convinced that both were needed. After decades of planning, in 1940 he founded Föreningen Konstsamfundet r.f, the association that according to his final will manages all his estate. The association’s statutes stipulate how Amos Anderson’s legacy is managed.

Amos Anderson was also active in politics, i.a. as Member of Parliament for Svenska Folkpartiet (the Swedish People’s Party) 1922–1927 and on three different occasions elector in the Presidential elections.

In cultural life, Amos Anderson had a penchant for theater, visual arts and music. He was chairman of the board of Svenska Teatern (the Swedish Theater) 1939–1956 and a member of the board of the Finnish Art Society, Svenska Oratorieföreningen (the Swedish Oratorio Association) and the Finnish Institute in Rome.

Anderson came from a religious home and had been influenced by the evangelical movement. Medieval church music was one of his great interests. Anderson contributed to the restoration of Turku Cathedral, but also the local church in Kimito could count on his support.

With the creation of the Finnish Institute in Rome and Villa Lante, Anderson made a significant contribution.

He was a Member of the Board of the Åbo Akademi University Foundation 1923-61 and was its chairman 1948-58. He was promoted to Ph.D. H.C. at Åbo Akademi University in 1948. Two years earlier he had received the highest Finnish honorary title in industy and commerce. Anderson received a large number of both domestic and foreign orders and other badges of honor. Although he mainly worked in Helsinki, Amos Anderson was always happy to return to his childhood home on Kimito Island. In 1927, he bought the Söderlångvik manor with extensive land areas in the (then) municipality of Dragsfjärd.

Amos Anderson passed away peacefully in Söderlångvik, at the age of 82 years, on April 2nd, 1961.