Hugo Sturm was born on 14 August 1891 in Kaarepere parish of Jõgevamaa.
Hugo Sturm took part in the both World Wars and was known as a brave soldier. In 1918 he fought for his country in the Estonian War of Independence and he was honoured with a Cross of Independence. In 1944 Hugo Sturm fought against Soviet occupation as a “forest brother” (Estonian partisans) but he was arrested and sent to prison camp in Siberia. Couple of years after the death of Josef Stalin he was released from prison ahead of time in 1956. Afterwards he lived with his daughter in the town of Jõgeva until his death. Hugo Sturm was not employed after returning from Siberia.
In the end of the 1920s Hugo Sturm got married with a Latvian girl Julie-Ermiine Kigurs who originated from a rich family in Riga. They had five daughters – Evi, Juta, Lea, Kaie, and Malle.
He began as an artist in 1957 when he started to make wooden sculptures. All his oil-paintings were made during his retirement in 1972–78. He is a naïve artist who has depicted his own life and dreams. Many scenes of his paintings come from Estonian folklore, popular folk songs and Estonian literature.
He took part in several exhibitions of amateur artists, among others the well-known all-Union exhibition called “Honoured for labour” in 1973. Some of his pictures were exhibited in Estonian naïve art exhibition of 1987/88 which took place in Tallinn. After Hugo Sturm´s death, the paintings were preserved in his daughter’s, Lea Livshits’ summer-cottage near the Lake Peipsi and from the year 2000 in their home in Kohtla-Järve. In 2005 the relatives deposited 36 of Sturm´s paintings with The Kondas Centre.
Hugo Sturm died on 24 December 1979 and he was buried in the cemetery of Palamuse.