In memoriam: Prof. Dr. Jaakko Elo (1925-2017)

Wed, 1 Feb 2017 • Dr. Johan Mattelaer, on behalf of the EAU History Office

Eminent Finnish Urologist Prof. Dr. Jaako Elo passed away on Saturday 28th January 2017. He was 91 years old and is survived by his wife and three children.

Jaakko Elo was born on 25 July 1925 in Kojkemäki, Finland. His father was a construction engineer and his mother was a nurse. During the Winter War of 1939-1940, Elo volunteered as an orderly of the Civil Defence Staff and served as Second Lieutenant during the Second World war from 1942 till 1944.

Medical CareerElo studied medicine at Helsinki University. In 1948, he received a scholarship to study at Cambridge university. He researched the virulence and pathogenic capacities of Escheria Coli in the 1950’s and human blood group antigens in mushrooms.

He qualified as a medical doctor in 1953 and became Doctor of Medicine in 1960. He qualified as a surgeon in 1961 and specialised in paediatric urology as the first medical doctor in Finland. With a French State stipend he studied at Hôpital Necker in Paris in 1966.

From 1966 to 1988 Elo served as urological surgeon and deputy head of the surgical section of Aurora Hospital in Helsinki and had a private practice in Mehiläinen Hospital in the same city from 1966 to 2002. Elo lectured at Helsinki University from 1983 to 1992, being the first lecturer of paediatric urology in Finland.

He founded the “Journal Urologia Fennica” in 1986 and was the first editor. From 1986 to 1988 he was chairman of the Finnish Urological Association. He published 30 articles in Finnish and international publications.

Elo was honorary member of the Finnish and Scandinavian Urological Associations and was nominated Professor Honoris Causa by the President of Finland in 2011.

EAU History OfficeIn 2000, Elo succeeded E. M. Lindtsted as a member of the History Office of the EAU, representing the Nordic countries. He became a very productive and constructive member of this group of urological historians and published many articles in the “de Historia Urologiae Europaeae” series of books. He also organised also two fall meetings of the EAU History Office in Helsinki, most recently in 2014.

He was also very proud of his son Jorma who is a world-renowned choreographer. We will always remember Jaakko as an excellent urologist, an enthusiastic and ardent specialist in the history of urology, and as a very good friend with an friendly character and a warm heart.

We will miss him and present our sincere condolences to his wife and family.


The EAU History Office with the Elo family at Jaakko Elo’s home on 28 September, 2014.