Famous Belgian Writers

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 1 
Georges Simenon
(One of the Most Widely Published Authors of the 20th Century)
Georges Simenon
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Birthdate: February 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium
Died: September 4, 1989

Georges Simenon was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels during his illustrious career that spanned several years. Simenon is credited with creating one of the most popular fictional detectives of all time, Jules Maigret. A self-proclaimed Casanova, Simenon claimed in 1977 to have had sex with 10,000 women since his 13th birthday.

 2 
Christine Leunens
(Known for Bestselling Novels Such as 'Primordial Soup' and 'Caging Skies')
Christine Leunens
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Birthdate: December 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States

American-born New Zealand-Belgian author Christine Leunens is best known for her bestselling novels such as Primordial Soup and Caging Skies, with the latter inspiring the critically acclaimed movie Jojo Rabbit. Interestingly, she had initially worked as a print model to fund her first book. She has also been a screenwriter.

 3 
Peyo
(Comics Writer and Artist)
Peyo
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Birthdate: June 25, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died: December 24, 1992

Peyo was a Belgian artist and comic book writer best remembered for creating popular comics series like Johan and Peewit and The Smurfs. He is also credited with creating several other comics series like Jacky and Célestin and Steven Strong. Peyo also founded his own publishing house called Cartoon Creation.

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 4 
Amélie Nothomb
(Novelist)
Amélie Nothomb
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Birthdate: July 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Brussels-Capital, Belgium
 5 
Sabine Dardenne
(Author, Writer)
Sabine Dardenne
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Birthdate: October 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tournai
 6 
Johan Heldenbergh
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Birthdate: February 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium

Johan Heldenbergh is a Belgian actor, screenwriter, film director, theatre director, and playwright. Over the years, Heldenbergh has achieved international fame by starring in popular films like The Misfortunates, The Broken Circle Breakdown, and The Zookeeper's Wife.

 7 
Chantal Mouffe
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Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Charleroi, Belgium
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 8 
Philip Coppens
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Birthdate: January 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Died: December 30, 2012
 9 
Julien Schoenaerts
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Birthdate: August 30, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bilzen, Belgium
Died: September 7, 2006

Julien Schoenaerts was a Flemish actor who is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of post-war Flanders and the Netherlands. In 2008, sculptor Wilfried Pas unveiled a statue of the actor on the Kerkstraat in Antwerp. Julien Schoenaerts is also known as the father of Matthias Schoenaerts. 

 10 
Maurice Maeterlinck
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Birthdate: August 29, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: May 6, 1949
 11 
May Sarton
(Poet, novelist and memoirist)
May Sarton
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Birthdate: May 3, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wondelgem, Ghent, Belgium
Died: July 16, 1995
 12 
Robert Bauval
(Author and lecturer, perhaps best known for the fringe Orion Correlation Theory regarding the Giza pyramid complex)
Robert Bauval
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Birthdate: March 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
 13 
Koenraad Elst
(Columnist, Anthropologist, Journalist, Writer)
Koenraad Elst
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Birthdate: August 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leuven
 14 
Eric Godon
(Actor)
Eric Godon
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Birthdate: February 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baudour, Belgium

Eric Godon is a Belgian actor, writer, and director. Godon discovered his passion for acting in his late-30s prior to which he had taken up various jobs in different fields. After making his acting debut at the age of 41, Eric Godon has been a part of many French and Belgian movies.

 15 
Henri Michaux
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Birthdate: May 24, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Namur, Belgium
Died: October 19, 1984
 16 
Alice von Hildebrand
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Birthdate: March 11, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
 17 
André Franquin
(Comics artist)
André Franquin
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Birthdate: January 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: January 5, 1997

André Franquin was a Belgian comic book artist best remembered for creating popular characters like Marsupilami and Gaston. An influential comic book artist, Franquin's works have had huge impact on the works of Francisco Ibáñez and Ramón María Casanyes. André Franquin was a recipient of many prestigious awards such as Adamson Award and Grand Prix for the Graphic Arts. 

 18 
Paul Otlet
(Writer, Lawyer, Librarian, Scientist, Inventor, Bibliographer)
Paul Otlet
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Birthdate: August 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: December 10, 1944
 19 
Fernand Khnopff
(Painter, Sculptor, Photographer, Philosopher, Writer)
Fernand Khnopff
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Birthdate: September 12, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dendermonde
Died: November 12, 1921

Fernand Khnopff was a Belgian painter whose works gained him recognition and helped achieve a cult status during his lifetime. He was honored with the prestigious Order of Leopold for his immense contribution to Symbolism.

 20 
Marcel Broodthaers
(One of the Pivotal Figures of the Contemporary Art Scene)
Marcel Broodthaers
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Birthdate: January 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 28, 1976

Marcel Broodthaers was primarily a poet till 40, after which he focused on visual arts. One of his exhibitions showcased copies of his book Pense-Bête, encased in plaster. Over the years, he experimented with painting, printmaking, and film, too. He also headed the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles.

 21 
Hugo Claus
(Author of the Novel 'The Sorrow of Belgium')
Hugo Claus
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Birthdate: April 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium
Died: March 19, 2008

Bestselling Belgian author, painter, and filmmaker Hugo Claus penned a wide range of literary gems, including poems, novels, and plays, and rose to be one of his country’s finest literary figures. Known for his masterpiece The Sorrow of Belgium, the author chose to be euthanized after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

 22 
Noël Godin
(Writer)
Noël Godin
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Birthdate: September 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium

Noël Godin is a Belgian writer, actor, and critic. A notorious pie thrower, Godin achieved international fame in 1998 when he surprised Bill Gates in Brussels by throwing a pie on the software magnate. Noël Godin is credited with popularizing the so called pie attacks in Belgium. 

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq
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Birthdate: 1522 AD
Birthplace: Comines, France
Died: October 28, 1592
 24 
Morris
(Cartoonist)
Morris
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Birthdate: December 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kortrijk, Belgium
Died: July 16, 2001

Morris was a Belgian cartoonist and illustrator who created a popular comic series titled Lucky Luke, which remained a bestselling series for over five decades. The comic series was also translated into 23 languages. Morris is often ranked amongst the Greatest Belgians of all time. 

 25 
Dominique Abel
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Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Thuin, Belgium

Dominique Abel is a Belgian actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his collaboration with his wife Fiona Gordon; they work together as a writing and directing team. Some of their films, such as The Fairy and Lost in Paris, have received critical acclaim and nominations at the Magritte Awards.

 26 
Charles de Coster
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Birthdate: August 20, 1827
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 7, 1879
 27 
Karel van Mander
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Birthdate: 1548
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Meulebeke, Belgium
Died: September 2, 1606

Dutch painter and poet Karel van Mander was a significant part of the Mannerist movement. Best known for his Het Schilder-boeck, or The Book of Painters, a biographical work on artists and painters of northern Europe, he was patronized by the Haarlem city council.

 28 
Georges Rodenbach
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Birthdate: July 16, 1855
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tournai, Belgium
Died: December 25, 1898
 29 
Hendrik Conscience
(Novelist Best Known for His Romantic Nationalist Novel, 'The Lion of Flanders (1838)')
Hendrik Conscience
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Birthdate: December 3, 1812
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: September 10, 1883

Belgian romantic novelist Hendrik Conscience was one of the pioneers of the Flemish novel. Best remembered for his historical fiction The Lion of Flanders, he had also penned tales on urban and rural life. He had also been a local politician, a museum curator, and a district commissioner.

 30 
Jean Ray
(Author)
Jean Ray
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Birthdate: July 8, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: September 17, 1964
 31 
Simon Leys
(Writer)
Simon Leys
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Birthdate: September 28, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: August 11, 2014
 32 
Emile Verhaeren
(One of the Founders of the School of Symbolism)
Emile Verhaeren
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Birthdate: May 21, 1855
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sint-Amands, Belgium
Died: November 27, 1916
 33 
Paul van Ostaijen
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Birthdate: February 22, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: March 18, 1928
 34 
Guido Gezelle
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Birthdate: May 1, 1830
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brugge, Belgium
Died: November 27, 1899
 35 
Suzanne Lilar
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Birthdate: May 21, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: December 11, 1992
 36 
Willem Elsschot
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Birthdate: May 7, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: May 31, 1960
 37 
Michel de Ghelderode
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Birthdate: April 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium
Died: April 1, 1962
 38 
Max Elskamp
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Birthdate: May 5, 1862
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: December 10, 1931
Philips of Marnix, Lord of Saint-Aldegonde
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Birthdate: 1538 AD
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 15, 1598

Dutch poet Philips of Marnix is best remembered for his translation of the Psalms. He managed to anger the Roman Catholics with his works such as The Beehive of the Roman Catholic Church and thus spent a year as a prisoner. It’s believed that he wrote the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe.

Françoise Mallet-Joris
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Birthdate: July 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: August 13, 2016
 41 
Rick Allison
(Singer, author, record producer)
Rick Allison
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Birthdate: July 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium

A Belgian-Canadian singer, writer and record producer, Rick Alison is known for his musical collaborations with one of the bestselling Belgian artists, Lara Fabian. The two together gave hit albums like Carpe Diem, Pure and Nue. He is also known for producing singer Chimène Badi's debut album Entre nous and composing songs for various other French and French-Canadian singers. 

 42 
Christian Dotremont
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Birthdate: December 12, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tervuren, Belgium
Died: August 20, 1979

Christian Dotremont was a Belgian poet and painter best remembered for founding the Revolutionary Surrealist Group in 1946. He is also credited with co-founding an influential European avant-garde movement called COBRA. Christian Dotremont is also remembered for his painted poems which he called logograms. 

 43 
Paul Nougé
(Author)
Paul Nougé
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Birthdate: February 13, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: November 6, 1967
 44 
Sophie Podolski
(Former Poet, graphic artist known for The book Le pays où tout est permis (1972))
Sophie Podolski
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Birthdate: October 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 29, 1974

Belgian poet and graphic artist Sophie Podolski is best known for her only published book during her lifetime, Le pays où tout est permis. A patient of schizophrenia, she had been to psychiatric clinics and had issues with drugs. She eventually tried committing suicide and died 10 days later.

 45 
Émile Cammaerts
(Playwright)
Émile Cammaerts
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Birthdate: March 16, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: November 2, 1953
 46 
Jacob van Maerlant
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Birthdate: 1230 AD
Birthplace: Belgium
Died: 1300 AD
 47 
Stijn Streuvels
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Birthdate: October 3, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: near Kortrijk or Heule, Belgium
Died: August 15, 1969
 48 
Sigebert Of Gembloux
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Birthdate: 1030 AD
Birthplace: Brabant, Belgium
Died: October 5, 1112
 49 
Felix Timmermans
(Translator)
Felix Timmermans
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Birthdate: July 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lier, Belgium
Died: January 24, 1947

Felix Timmermans was a Belgian author whose works earned him three nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature over the course of his illustrious career. A versatile writer, Timmermans wrote plays, religious works, historical novels, and poems. He was also a drawer and painter. Felix Timmermans is also one of the most translated authors from Flanders.    

 50 
Jean Bolland
(Priest)
Jean Bolland
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Birthdate: August 18, 1596
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Herve, Belgium
Died: September 12, 1665