Born Feb. 11 (23), 1874, in the volost (small rural district) of Takhkuranna, now in Pärnu Raion; died Jan. 18, 1956, in Kalinin Oblast. Estonian bourgeois political figure.
Päts graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Iur’ev (Tartu) in 1898. In 1901 he founded the bourgeois-democratic newspaper Teataja in Tallinn. Because of persecution by the tsarist authorities, he emigrated to Switzerland in 1906. He returned to Estonia in 1909 and was imprisoned during 1910 and 1911. In 1911 he became editor of the newspaper Teataja of Tallinn.
After the February Revolution of 1917, Päts became one of the leaders of the Estonian bourgeois counterrevolution. From November 1918 through May 1919 he was head of state and defense minister of the bourgeois government of Estonia. From 1919 to 1934 he led the rightist agrarian party and several times headed the government. On Mar. 12, 1934, a fascist coup was carried out under Päts’ leadership. In 1938, Päts became president of bourgeois Estonia. After the restoration of Soviet power in Estonia in 1940, he was convicted and exiled from the Estonian SSR.