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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Initially a butcher, Paul Vanden Boeynants built his own meat-processing empire. He later served as Belgium’s minister of defense and then its prime minister. He was once kidnapped by a criminal gang and released after payment of a ransom amount. He was also involved in a tax fraud scandal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Hymans was a Belgian politician who served as the president of the League of Nations on two occasions. A prominent politician, Hymans also served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs on two occasions between 1918 and 1935. Paul Hymans is also credited with introducing universal suffrage for all men and compulsory education in Belgium.
Jef van de Wiele was a Belgian Flemish politician who gained notoriety as the leader of a pro-Nazi wing during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. A staunch supporter of Adolf Hitler, Van de Wiele co-founded and edited a magazine named Nieuw Vlaanderen, which spread and promoted Nazism during the Second World War.
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.
Belgian liberal politician Adolphe Max was initially a practicing lawyer and had even worked as a journalist before stepping into politics. On his refusal to comply to German orders as a burgomaster of Brussels, he was arrested. Upon his release, he became a member of the chamber of representatives.
Two-time prime minister of Belgium, Walthère Frère-Orban was a strong supporter of free trade. A Liberal Party member, he also established the Banque Nationale and did away with the newspaper tax. He also angered the Vatican by promoting secular primary education. He also penned works such as Le question monétaire.