Uno Lindelöf
Humanist of the day

Uno Lindelöf

Uno Lindelöf was the first Professor of English Philology at the University of Helsinki, as well as a highly esteemed teacher and researcher. As a Swedish People’s Party member of parliament and a Helsinki City Councilperson, he sought to improve education and culture in Finnish society. Lindelöf’s influence can also be seen from the more than thirty years he spent on the Matriculation Examination Board.

Uno Lindelöf

Uno Lorenz Lindelöf
Born March 30, 1868. Died February 7, 1944, Helsinki

BA 1888, PhD 1890, Imperial Alexander University

Professor of English Philology 1921–36, Acting Professor 1937–38, University of Helsinki
Docent of Germanic philology 1892–1907, Extraordinary Professor of English Philology 1907–21, Imperial Alexander University
Latin teacher 1892–97, German teacher 1892–1902, Nya svenska läroverket (‘New Swedish Secondary School’)

Representative of the Nobility at the Diet 1897–1906
Member of Parliament 1909–14
Chair of the Education and Culture Committee in Parliament 1909–13
Helsinki City Councilperson 1902–36

Hon. Secretary of the Modern Language Society 1890–99,

Chair of the board of directors of the New Swedish Secondary School 1903–
Member of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 1909
Member of the Matriculation Examination Board 1902–36

Commander in the Order of the White Rose of Finland 1929
State badge of honour for 40 years of service
German Iron Cross 2nd Class 1920

Photo: Museovirasto
Written by Lauri Lönnström
Translated by Joe McVeigh

Uno Lindelöf came from a family which had a strong tradition in mathematics. His father was Professor of Mathematics Lorenz Lindelöf and his older brother Ernst Lindelöf became a professor in mathematics too. Uno, however, was interested in the English language from a young age and when writing his matriculation exam in 1885 he wrote English, which was not taught in schools at the time, as an extra subject.

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Born and raised in Helsinki, Uno Lindelöf was an urbanite at heart, even though he enjoyed the nature of his summer place in Kuusisaari. Lindelöf lived on the coast in Hietalahti, Helsinki, with his brother Ernst Lindelöf, who was a professor of mathematics.

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