Former Finnish diplomat and journalist Max Jakobson dies at age 89

Max Jakobson, a former Finnish diplomat who helped shape his country's policy of neutrality during the Cold War, has died. He was 89.

Jakobson was born into a Jewish family in the Finnish city of Vyborg, which was ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II.

His family later moved to Helsinki, the capital, where Jakobson launched an international career that took him to London as the correspondent of a Finnish newspaper in 1948-1953, and later to Washington, where he served as Finland's ambassador to the United Nations for six years. In 1971, Jakobson ran for the post of U.N. secretary general, but he was defeated by Kurt Waldheim of Austria.

Jakobson wrote widely about Finnish politics in the Cold War and was a major shaper of public opinion about it.

He died in Helsinki on March 9, and was buried a few days later. Jakobson is survived by three adult children.