Antti Wihuri, the founder of the Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes, was born October 9th 1883 in the archipelago of Kustavi. He set sail for the first time as a cabin boy just at the age of 12 years and worked at the sea for 15 years. After that he worked as the general manager of a stevedoring company and as a shipbroker. In 1916 he established his own shipping company.

Antti Wihuri’s first wave of success dates from the sea, but in the 1940’s he began to extend his businesses to new territories. He became a very successful businessman. Wihuri wanted to give back to the society that had made his success possible. Therefore in 1942, Antti Wihuri and his wife Jenny founded the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation to promote Finnish economic and cultural heritage.

In 1953 Antti Wihuri founded the Wihuri Foundation for International Prizes. Its purpose is to promote and sustain cultural and economic development of society.