LENNART MERI, President of the Republic of Estonia
CV in Facts

Born: March 29, 1929, in Tallinn
Marital status: married to Helle Meri (née Pihlak)
Parents: Georg-Peeter Meri and Alice-Brigitta Meri (née Engmann)
Children: sons Mart (1959) and Kristjan (1966), daughter Tuule (1985)


Schools in Berlin, Paris, Yaransk and Tallinn
1941-46 deported to Siberia with parents
Graduated cum laude from Tartu University in 1953
Majoring in: history


Dramatist in the Vanemuine Theatre, 1953-1955
Professor, Tartu Art School
Producer, Estonian Radio 1955 –1961
Script writer ( 1963-1968) and producer (1968-71, 1986-88) in Tallinnfilm
Foreign Relations Secretary, Estonian Writers Union 1985-1987
Active in the Estonian Popular Front and in the National Heritage Preservation Association in 1980s
Founder and Director of the Estonian Institute, 1988-1990
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, 1990-1992
Ambassador of Estonia to Finland, April-October, 1992
President of the Republic of Estonia,1992-1996
Re-elected 1996


    1959 "Kobrade ja karakurtide jälgedes" (Following the Trails of Cobras and Black Widows)
    1961 “Laevapoisid rohelisel ookeanil” (Shipmates on the Green Ocean)
    1964 "Tulemägede maale" (To the Land of Fiery Mountains)
    1974 "Virmaliste väraval" (At the Gate of Northern Lights)
    1976 "Hõbevalge" (Silverwhite)
    1977 "Lähenevad rannad" (Approaching Coasts)
    1984 "Hõbevalgem" (Silverwhiter)
    1989 Co-author of the collection “1940 Eestis. Dokumente ja materjale” (1940 in Estonia. Documents and Materials)
    1995 “Tulen maasta, jonka nimi on Viro” (Coming from the Country Called Estonia), in Finnish
    1996 “Presidendikõned” (Presidential Speeches)
    Translations to the Estonian language of the works by Remarque, Vercors, Greene, Boulle, Solzhenitsyn
    Professor Matti Kuusi on the explorer Lennart Meri
    About Fenno-Ugric peoples and cultures
    1970 "Veelinnurahvas" (The Waterfowl People)
    1977 "Linnutee tuuled" (The Winds of the Milky Way)
    1986 "Kaleva hääled" (The Sounds of Kaleva)
    1989 "Toorumi pojad" (The Sons of Thorum)
    1997 "Šamaan" (Shaman)


Silver Medal from the New York Film Festival, 1977
Honorary Doctorate of the Helsinki University, 1986
Coudenhove-Kalergi European Award of 1996 (Coudenhove-Kalergi Foundation)
East-West Liberty Award, 1996 (Institute of the East-West Studies, New York)
The Grand Annual Award, Crans Montana Forum, 1997
Silver Medal of the Cracow Jagellonia University, 1998
European of the Year, 1998 (the French weekly La Vie)
Prize for Freedom of the Liberal International, 1999
Honorary Doctorate of the University of Lapland (Finland), 1999
The Highest Award of the German Union of the Deportees, 1999
Honorary Doctorate of St. Olaf College (USA), 2000
Honorary Doctorate of the Turku University (Finland), 2000
The Small Countries Award of the Batliner Institute, 2000
Max Schmidheiny Freedom Prize 2001 (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)


Member of the Estonian Writers Union from 1963,
Member of the Estonian Cinematographers Union from 1966,
Foreign Member of the Kalevala Society (Finland) from 1975,
Corresponding Member of the Finnish Literary Society from 1976,
Honorary Member of the Finnish Writers Union from 1982,
Member of the Estonian PEN-Club from 1989,
Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities and Co-President of its Committee of Honour from 1993,
Member of the International Council of the Memorial Foundation for the Victims of Communism from 1995,
Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Council against Antisemitism from 1997
Honorary Member of the Home Neighbourhood Union of Finland 1999


the Grand Sash and Grand Star of Jordanian Revival 1993
the Grand Sash and Grand Star of the Danish Order of the Elephant 1994
the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland with collar 1995
the insignia of Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim of Sweden 1995
the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle 1995
the Grand Cross and Collar of the Latvian Order of the Three Stars 1996
the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit 1997
the Slovenian Order of the Golden Star of Liberty 1997
the Grand Cross of the Italian Order of Merit 1997
the Lithuanian Order of Vytautas the Great 1997
the Slovenian Order of the Golden Star of Liberty 1997
the Polish Order of the White Eagle 1998
the Icelandic Order of the Falcon 1998
the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olaf 1998
the Grand Cross of the Greece Order of the RedeƩmer 1999
the Distinguished Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 2000
the Collar of the National Order of Merit of the Republic of Malta 2001
the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour 2001


German, English, Russian, French, Finnish


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