Famous Belgian Leaders

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Belgian Leaders

 1 
Charles Martel
(Military Leader)

Charles Martel
5
Birthdate: 0686 AD
Birthplace: Herstal
Died: October 22, 0741

Charles Martel was a Frankish military leader and statesman. From 718 until his death in 741, Martel served as the de facto ruler of Francia. He is credited with restoring centralized government in Francia and re-establishing the Franks as the masters of all Gaul through a series of military campaigns.

 2 
John of Gaunt
(Nobleman)

John of Gaunt
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1340
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: February 3, 1399

John of Gaunt was an English prince, statesman, and military leader. An influential figure, John of Gaunt is credited with founding the royal House of Lancaster, which would later produce men to ascend the royal throne. Early in his career, John spent considerable time in Spain participating in the Hundred Years' War.

 3 
Baudouin of Belgium
(King of the Belgians)

Baudouin of Belgium
6
Birthdate: September 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Château du Stuyvenberg, Brussels, Belgium
Died: July 31, 1993

The elder son of King Leopold III of Belgium, Baudouin ruled Belgium for over 4 decades. He is remembered for his impartial treatment of both the Flemish- and French-speaking Belgian factions. He also served as the sovereign of the Belgian Congo and later supported Congolese independence.

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 4 
Guy Verhofstadt
(Politician)

Guy Verhofstadt
5
Birthdate: April 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dendermonde

Guy Verhofstadt is a Belgian politician best known for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 to 2008. From 1985 to 1992, he served as the Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Minister of Budget. From 2009 to 2019, Verhofstadt also served as the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

 5 
Marc Wilmots
(Football player Attacking midfielder, Politician)

Marc Wilmots
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dongelberg, Jodoigne, Belgium

Belgian football manager Marc Wilmots has previously been a player with teams such as Standard Liège and Schalke 04 and has even won a UEFA Cup with the latter. He was also later elected to the Belgian senate, as a Reformist Movement member but later announced his decision to resign.

 6 
Charles Michel
(Politician, Lawyer)

Charles Michel
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Namur

Charles Michel is a Belgian politician who is currently serving as the President of the European Council. He is best known for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 2014 to 2019. He was the youngest Prime Minister of the country since 1845. From 2007 to 2011, Charles Michel also served as the Minister of Development Cooperation.

 7 
Maggie De Block
(Politician)

Maggie De Block
4
Birthdate: April 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Merchtem, Belgium

Maggie De Block is a Belgian politician and physician best known for serving as the Minister of Health from 2014 to 2020. An influential politician, Maggie De Block also served as the Minister of Justice in 2014 and Minister of Asylum and Migration from 2018 to 2020.

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 8 
Léon Degrelle
(Politician)

Léon Degrelle
4
Birthdate: June 15, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bouillon, Belgium
Died: March 31, 1994

While Belgian politician Léon Degrelle initially wished to study law, he stepped into politics after failing his law exams repeatedly. He later went on to establish the Rexist Party of Belgium. A Nazi supporter, he fought for the German army during Germany’s occupation of Belgium during World War II.

 9 
Elio Di Rupo
(Prime Minister of Belgium (2011 - 2014))

Elio Di Rupo
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Morlanwelz, Belgium

Elio Di Rupo is a Belgian socialist politician best known for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 2011 to 2014. Di Rupo, who served as the Mayor of Mons from 2000 to 2018, is the current Minister-President of Wallonia. Elio Di Rupo was also the world's first openly gay man to head a government in modern times.

 10 
Pippin of Herstal
(Statesman and military leader who de facto ruled Francia as the Mayor of the Palace from 680 until his death)

Pippin of Herstal
3
Birthdate: 0635 AD
Birthplace: Belgian
Died: December 16, 0714

Pippin of Herstal was a Frankish military leader and statesman. From 680 until his death in 714, Pippin ruled the Kingdom of the Franks as the Mayor of the Palace. After conquering all of the Frankish realms, he decided to bestow the title Duke and Prince of the Franks upon himself. 

 11 
Herman Van Rompuy
(Politician, Economist)

Herman Van Rompuy
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Etterbeek

Belgian politician and former prime minister of Belgium Herman Van Rompuy has also served as the President of the European Council. Initially an economist at the National Bank of Belgium, he later joined the Christian Democratic Party and eventually led it as its president. He has also been the Belgian budget minister.

Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1480
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 1, 1530

The only daughter of Habsburg archduke Maximilian I, who became the Holy Roman Emperor, Margaret of Austria was also the duchess of Savoy by virtue of her marriage to Philibert II, Duke of Savoy. A patron of the arts, she owned a huge library and had several painters at her court.

 13 
Sophie Wilmes
(Politician)

Sophie Wilmes
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium

Politician Sophie Wilmes scripted history when she became the first Belgian woman to become the country’s head of government, when she took over as Belgium’s prime minister. She has also been Belgium’s minister of budget. A powerful female icon, she made it to the Forbes list of Power Women in 2019.

 14 
Lucretia Garfield
(Politician)

Lucretia Garfield
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1832
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hiram
Died: March 14, 1918

The wife of US president James A. Garfield, Lucretia Garfield was a skilled public speaker and educator in her own right. However, she never publicly supported the women’s suffrage movement and almost always agreed with her husband’s political decisions. She attended to her husband when he was dying from a fatal gunshot wound.

 15 

Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1559
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tilly, Belgium
Died: April 30, 1632

Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly was a field marshal who played a major role in the famous Thirty Years' War. A fierce field marshal, Johann Tserclaes had a string of prominent victories from 1620 to 1631 against the Protestants. He destroyed the Protestant city of Magdeburg, so much so that 20,000 inhabitants out of a population of 25,000 were dead.

Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1712
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lunéville, France
Died: July 4, 1780

The son of Duke Leopold of Lorraine, Prince Charles Alexander was an Austrian general. He oversaw the Austrian army during the War of the Austrian Succession. He also played a major role in several battles of the Seven Years' War. He was married to Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria.

Prince Charles, Count of Flanders
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: June 1, 1983

The second son of Belgian king Albert I, Prince Charles, Count of Flanders served as the regent of Belgium after the liberation of his country, while his elder brother, King Leopold III, underwent an investigation for his alleged betrayal of the Allies. In his later years, he focused on painting.

 18 
Paul-Henri Spaak
(Prime Minister of Belgium (1947 – 1949))

Paul-Henri Spaak
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died: July 31, 1972

Paul-Henri Spaak was a Belgian Socialist politician, statesman, and diplomat. He helped co-create a set of institutions that later became the European Union. In 1957, he was awarded the Charlemagne Prize. On 21 February 1961, Paul-Henri Spaak was honored by the US President John F. Kennedy with the prestigious Medal of Freedom.

 19 
Bart De Wever
(Columnist, Politician, Historian)

Bart De Wever
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mortsel

Bart De Wever is a Belgian politician who has been serving as the leader of the nationalist and conservative political party, New Flemish Alliance, since 2004. In 2007, he played an important role in the Belgian government formation. Since 2013, Bart De Wever has also been serving as the Mayor of Antwerp.  

 20 
Petra De Sutter
(Politician)

Petra De Sutter
2
Birthdate: June 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oudenaarde, Belgium

Petra De Sutter is a Belgian politician and gynecologist who is currently serving as the Minister of Civil Service. Europe's first transgender minister, De Sutter worked as a professor at Ghent University before entering politics.   

 21 
Yves Leterme
(Politician, Diplomat)

Yves Leterme
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wervik

Yves Leterme is a Belgian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 25 November 2009 to 6 December 2011. An influential politician, Yves Leterme also served as the Minister-President of Flanders from 20 July 2004 to 28 June 2007 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 17 July 2009 to 25 November 2009.

Lamoral, Count of Egmont
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1522
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ellezelles, Belgium
Died: June 5, 1568

Lamoral, Count of Egmont was a statesman and general in the Spanish Netherlands. His actions helped ignite the national uprising that led to the independence of Holland. He also served as an important member of Philip the Prudent's Council of State for Artois and Flanders.

 23 
Étienne Davignon
(European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs and Energy 1981 - 1985)

Étienne Davignon
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Étienne Davignon is a Belgian businessman, politician, and ex-vice-president of the European Commission. A successful businessman, Davignon is credited with co-founding Brussels Airlines. He also serves on the board of many Belgian companies.

 24 
Ludivine Dedonder
(Politician)

Ludivine Dedonder
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tournai, Belgium

Ludivine Dedonder is a Belgian politician and the current Minister of Defence. She has been serving her position since 2020 under the premiership of Alexander De Croo. Ludivine Dedonder is also known as the partner of fellow politician Paul-Olivier Delannois.

 25 
Jan Jambon
(Politician)

Jan Jambon
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Genk

Jan Jambon is a Belgian politician and current Minister-President of Flanders. He is best known for serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium as well as the Minister of the Interior from 11 October 2014 to 9 December 2018.

 26 
Henri La Fontaine
(Socialist, Senator, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

Henri La Fontaine
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: May 14, 1943

Henri La Fontaine was a Belgian lawyer who served as the president of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), one of the oldest international peace federations. In 1913, Henri La Fontaine was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace for his efforts to lead the peace movement in Europe.

 27 
Jean Schramme
(Former Mercenary, planter who managed a vast estate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1967)

Jean Schramme
0
Birthdate: March 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium
Died: December 14, 1988

Jean Schramme, also known as Black Jack, was a Belgian mercenary who managed a huge estate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His love for Africa made him call himself "a white African." He led the unsuccessful Kisangani Mutinies of 1966-1967. He eventually died in exile in Brazil.

 28 
Jean-Luc Dehaene
(Politician)

Jean-Luc Dehaene
1
Birthdate: August 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Died: May 15, 2014

Jean-Luc Dehaene, the last Prime Minister of Belgium during King Baudouin's reign, was known for his capability of negotiating political deadlocks. This earned him the nicknames The Plumber and The Minesweeper. Dehaene created a governing coalition of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats and in 1993, his government thrived in transforming Belgium into a federal state.    

 29 
Annelies Verlinden
(Politician)

Annelies Verlinden
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Merksem, Antwerp, Belgium

Annelies Verlinden is a Belgian politician who is currently serving as the Minister of the Interior in the De Croo Government headed by the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Annelies Verlinden has been an important member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party since the start of her political career.

 30 

Anne Malherbe Gosselin
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Namur, Belgium

Anne Malherbe Gosselin is a Belgian teacher and wife of Ecuadorian politician and economist Rafael Correa. While Correa served as the President of Ecuador from 2007 to 2017, Anne Malherbe Gosselin served as the First Lady of Ecuador. She currently lives in Belgium with her husband.

 31 
Wilfried Martens
(Prime minister of Belgium)

Wilfried Martens
2
Birthdate: April 19, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sleidinge, Belgium
Died: October 9, 2013

Wilfried Martens was a Flemish Belgian politician best remembered for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1981 to 1992. A respected and influential politician, Wilfried Martens also served as the President of the European People's Party from 1990 to 2013.

 32 
Willy Claes
(Politician)

Willy Claes
1
Birthdate: November 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hasselt, Belgium

Willy Claes is a Belgian politician best known for serving as the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1994 to 1995. While investigating the death of André H.P. Cools, Claes was found guilty of corruption, post which he was forced to resign from his position as Secretary General of NATO on 20 October 1995. 

 33 
Gaston Eyskens
(Politician)

Gaston Eyskens
1
Birthdate: April 1, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lier, Belgium
Died: January 3, 1988

Gaston Eyskens was a Belgian politician best remembered for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium on three occasions between 1949 and 1973. During his premiership, Eyskens had to face severe linguistic and ideological conflicts within Belgium including the split of the Catholic University of Leuven in 1970. Gaston Eyskens was a pioneer who worked towards the federalization of Belgium.

 34 
Adrien de Gerlache
(Naval Officer)

Adrien de Gerlache
1
Birthdate: August 2, 1866
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hasselt, Belgium
Died: December 4, 1934

Adrien de Gerlache was a Belgian Royal Navy officer best remembered for leading the famous Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897–99. It was the first winter expedition to the Antarctic region and is also considered the maiden voyage of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Several geographical features like Mount Gerlache and Cape Gerlache have been named in his honor.

 35 
Leo Tindemans
(Politician)

Leo Tindemans
1
Birthdate: April 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zwijndrecht, Belgium
Died: December 26, 2014

Leo Tindemans was a Belgian politician best remembered for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 25 April 1974 to 20 October 1978. During the course of his illustrious career, Leo Tindemans also served as the President of the European People's Party from 1976 to 1985 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 17 December 1981 to 19 June 1989.

 36 
Auguste Beernaert
(Politician)

Auguste Beernaert
1
Birthdate: July 26, 1829
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ostend, Belgium
Died: October 6, 1912

Auguste Beernaert was a Belgian politician best remembered for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 26 October 1884 to 26 March 1894. For his work at a non-UN intergovernmental organization called the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Auguste Beernaert was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1909. 

 37 

Jacob van Artevelde
1
Birthdate: 1290 AD
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: July 24, 1345

Jacob van Artevelde was a Flemish political leader and statesman. He is credited with promoting trade and industry which flourished in Ghent under his semi-dictatorial rule. Today, a statue of Jacob van Artevelde stands tall in Ghent.

 38 
Charles Rogier
(Prime Minister of Belgium (1847 - 1852))

Charles Rogier
1
Birthdate: August 17, 1800
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint-Quentin, France
Died: May 27, 1885

Remembered as Belgium’s foremost liberal leader, Charles Latour Rogier began his career at the bar. When the Belgium Revolution broke out, he left his practice to lead an armed militia in support of the revolution, eventually emerging as leader of the movement. Later he became the Governor of Antwerp, thereafter, he held several ministerial posts before being elected the Prime Minister.

Prince Amedeo of Belgium
1
Birthdate: February 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium

Prince Amedeo of Belgium is a member of the Belgian royal family best known as the grandson of King Albert II of Belgium. Amedeo, who is sixth in the line of succession to the Belgian throne, is also heir to the leadership of the House of Austria-Este.

 40 

Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma
0
Birthdate: August 1, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Died: March 14, 1934
Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma was a Belgian officer who served in the First World War. Sixtus played a major role in the Sixtus Affair, which was a failed attempt to conclude a separate peace by joining hands with the allies during the war. Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma is also credited with authoring many books, such as La reine d'Étrurie.

 41 
Meyrem Almaci
(Party President of Groen since 2014)

Meyrem Almaci
0
Birthdate: February 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

A member of the Flemish green party Groen, Turkish-Belgian politician Meyrem Almaci is also a Member of the Chamber of Representatives. She has previously been dragged into an antisemitic speech controversy, in which she accused Jews of being as torturous to Palestinians as the Nazis had been to Jews during the Holocaust.

 42 
Camille Gutt
(First Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 6 May 1946 to 5 May 1951)

Camille Gutt
0
Birthdate: November 14, 1884
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: June 7, 1971

Camille Gutt was a Belgian politician, economist, and industrialist. He is best remembered for designing a monetary reform plan that helped recover the Belgian economy post World War II. Camille Gutt also played an important role in the development of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), serving as its first Managing Director from 1946 to 1951.

 43 
Philippe Moureaux
(University teacher, Politician, Historian, Economist)

Philippe Moureaux
1
Birthdate: April 12, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Etterbeek

One of the most prominent figures of Belgian politics, Philippe Moureaux also taught economic history at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. A Socialist Party politician, he had been the minister of the interior, the minister of justice, and the Minister-President of the French Community. He received a Belgian knighthood, among other honors.

 44 

Émile Vandervelde
1
Birthdate: January 25, 1866
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium
Died: December 27, 1938

One of the most influential figures of European socialism, Belgian politician Émile Vandervelde was nicknamed le patron, or the boss. The Belgian Labour Party leader had served as Belgium’s minister of foreign affairs and minister of justice. He also played a major role in the Paris Peace Conference treaty negotiations.

 45 
Camille Huysmans
(Politician)

Camille Huysmans
1
Birthdate: May 26, 1871
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bilzen, Belgium
Died: February 25, 1968

Initially a teacher and an expert in German philology, Camille Huysmans later went on to lead Belgium as its prime minister. He also wrote for various socialist papers, such as Le Peuple. Some of his best-known writings include Studies on Social Insurance and Four Models.

 46 

Pierre Harmel
1
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Uccle, Belgium
Died: November 15, 2009

Pierre Harmel was a Belgian lawyer, diplomat, and Christian Democratic politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 28 July 1965 to 19 March 1966. A respected and influential politician, Pierre Harmel also served as the President of the Senate from 9 October 1973 to 7 June 1977. 

 47 

Henri Alexis Brialmont
1
Birthdate: May 25, 1821
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venlo, Netherlands
Died: July 21, 1903

Belgian engineer and army officer Henri Alexis Brialmont, known widely as The Belgian Vauban, is best remembered for his military innovations that helped fortify Antwerp and several other Belgian cities against modern artillery. His fortifications safeguarded Belgium during the Germany invasion of the country during World War I.

François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt
1
Birthdate: October 14, 1733
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: County of Hainaut, Belgium
Died: July 21, 1798

Austrian field marshal François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, who was also the Count of Clerfayt, played a major role in the Seven Years’ War. One of the most prominent Allied generals who led campaigns against Revolutionary France, he later became a member of the Aulic Council.

 49 
Bert Eriksson
(Former leading Flemish nationalist)

Bert Eriksson
0
Birthdate: June 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: October 2, 2005

Bert Eriksson was a Flemish nationalist who played an important role in the establishment of a far-right and secessionist political party called Vlaams Blok. A staunch anti-communist, Bert Eriksson is also remembered for his efforts as a paratrooper in the Korean War that was fought in the early 1950s.

 50 
Edmond Leburton
(Politician)

Edmond Leburton
0
Birthdate: April 18, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Waremme, Belgium
Died: June 15, 1997

Edmond Leburton was a Belgian politician best remembered for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 26 January 1973 to 25 April 1974. Many reforms, including a law to safeguard people with mental illness, were carried out under Leburton's premiership. Leburton also served as the President of the Chamber of Representatives from 7 June 1977 to 3 April 1979.