<p>Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad (commonly P. E. Svinhufvud), December 15, 1861 – February 29, 1944) was the first Head of State of independent Finland 1918 and third President of Finland from 1931 to 1937. Serving as a lawyer, judge, and politician in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, he played a major role in the movement for Finnish independence. Svinhufvud was the first Head of State of independent Finland, first as Chairman of the Senate, and then subsequently as Protector of State or Regent. He also served as Prime Minister 1930-1931.
As a conservative who was strong in his opposition to communism and the Left in general, Svinhufvud did not become a President embraced by all the people, although as the amiable Ukko-Pekka (Old Man Pete), he did enjoy wide popularity.
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad was born in Sääksmäki. He was the son of Pehr Gustaf Svinhufvud af Qvalstad, a sea captain, and Olga von Becker. His father drowned at sea off Greece in 1863, when Pehr Evind was only two years old. He spent his early childhood at the home of his paternal grandfather, Pehr Gustaf Svinhufvud af Qvalstad (a provincial treasurer of Häme), at Rapola, where the family had lived for</p>