Famous Belgian Men

A small country in Western Europe, Belgium has been home to some of the world renowned artists, musicians, sports personnel, inventors, scientists, literary giants and fashion designers, who have greatly contributed to country’s political, economic and cultural panorama. If you don’t believe us, then read ahead. Imagine growing up without reading Georges Remi’s TinTin Adventures or watching the film ‘The Muscles from Brussels’ without Jean Claude van Damme or even listening to a musical piece without Adolphe Sax’s invention saxophone! Have your eyes opened wide enough? Surely, for all of them are famous Belgian men, who, through their work, have touched our lives in more ways than one. But that is not all when we talk about famous Belgian men for the list goes long and wide.

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 Men

 1 Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme
35
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium

Belgian actor,Jean-Claude Van Damme is best known for a string of martial arts films. He started his career as a karate fighter and competed in a number full-contact and semi-contact matches. Later he took up acting and became a star with the 1988 Hollywood film, Bloodsport. Cyborg, Lionheart, Double Impact and Universal Soldier are some of his notable films.

 2 Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen
25
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: September 30, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium

 3 Gotye

Gotye
6
Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: May 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium
Belgian-born Australian singer Gotye initially formed the indie-pop group The Basics. The three-time Grammy-winning artist has also had a successful solo career and is best known for his Billboard-topping track Somebody That I Used to Know, which made him the fifth Australian artist to top the Billboard charts.
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 4 Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lessines, Belgium
Died: August 15, 1967
Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte is remembered for his art that displayed alternate perceptions of reality. His creations were influenced by elements of pop art and minimalist art. Some of his most notable works were The Empire of Light and Les Amants. The Magritte Museum is dedicated to his work.

 5 Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard
8
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Louvière, Belgium

One of the best Belgian footballers of all time, Eden Hazard is also regarded as one of the best players of the current generation. Thanks to his ability to retain possession among other footballing skills, Hazard is often compared with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

 6 Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku
27
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: May 13, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp

Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian football player, is known for his goal-scoring abilities. He plays in the forward position and can also play as a winger. He has scored more than 50 international goals while playing for the men’s national team of Belgium. Inter Milan, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United are some of the clubs he has played for.

 7 Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens
0
Famous As: Painter & Printmaker
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen, Nassau-Dillenburg (now North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Died: May 30, 1640

Peter Paul Rubens is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He lived during the Dutch Golden Age. His style of art emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He painted altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings and also drew cartoons for the Flemish tapestry workshops. He was a classically educated humanist scholar as well.

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 8 Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne
6
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: June 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ghent

Often described as a complete football player, Kevin De Bruyne is also widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation. Over the years, he has had a major impact on the Manchester City Football Club, helping his team win several games. He is also a key player for the Belgian national football team.

 9 Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki
14
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bree

Johnny Galecki’s role as Leonard Hofstadter in CBS’s The Big Bang Theory led to Forbes declaring him as the world's second highest-paid TV actor in 2018. He is also known to his fans as David Healy from Roseanne and is a fan favorite for his effortless performances in sitcoms.

 10 Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois
1
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: May 11, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bree, Flanders, Belgium

 11 Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium
7
Famous As: King of the Belgians (1865-1909)
Birthdate: April 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 17, 1909

Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.

 12 Stromae

Stromae
1
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 12, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Brussels

Stromae is a Belgian musician, singer, songwriter, and rapper. He achieved popularity with the release of his song Alors on danse in 2009, which topped several music charts in many European countries. He has won several prestigious awards, such as the World Music Awards. Stromae is often promoted as the face of the New Beat generation.

 13 Clovis I

Clovis I
0
Famous As: First king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler.
Birthdate: 0466 AD
Birthplace: Tournai (present-day Belgium)
Died: November 27, 0511

Clovis I, regarded as the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, united the Frankish tribes under one leader and thus transformed the leadership system which had previously been based on leadership by a group of chieftains. His conversion to Catholicism led to widespread conversion among the Frankish people.

 14 Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll
4
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: October 29, 1998
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

 15 Michy Batshuayi

Michy Batshuayi
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: October 2, 1993
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels

 16 Charles Martel

Charles Martel
2
Famous As: Military Leader
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.

 17 Adnan Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj
1
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: February 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels

 18 Joanna of Castile

Joanna of Castile
0
Famous As: Queen of Aragon
Birthdate: November 6, 1479
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: April 12, 1555
Joanna, the 16th-century queen of Castile and Aragon, also known as "Joanna the Mad," was declared insane and locked up at the Royal Convent of Santa Clara by her father. Following her father’s death, she nominally co-ruled the kingdom with her son, Charles I, but remained imprisoned till her death.

 19 Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany
2
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: April 10, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Uccle

 20 Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini
0
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: November 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Belgium

 21 Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx
1
Famous As: Cyclist
Birthdate: June 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Meensel-Kiezegem, Tielt-Winge

Eddy Merckx is a Belgian former road and track bicycle racer. Widely regarded as the most successful rider in competitive cycling history, Merckx achieved several important victories, such as 11 Grand Tours, three World Championships, and all five Monuments. He is also considered the greatest cyclist of all time. After retiring, he coached his national cycling team for 11 years.

 22 Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium
Died: October 9, 1978

Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, actor, director, and songwriter. He is remembered for composing and performing thoughtful, literate, and theatrical songs. Apart from inspiring French musicians, Brel's works have also had a major influence on English-speaking performers like David Bowie, Scott Walker, Rod McKuen, Marc Almond, and Alex Harvey. Brel is the third-best-selling Belgian music artist of all time.

 23 Radja Nainggolan

Radja Nainggolan
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium

 24 Dries Mertens

Dries Mertens
0
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leuven

 25 Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium
1
Famous As: First King of the Belgians (1831-1865)
Birthdate: December 16, 1790
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: December 10, 1865
Leopold I, the youngest son of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the first king of Belgium and reigned from 1831 to 1865. He fought against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. He rejected the throne of Greece. His reign is known for establishing Belgium's first railway and for its modernization.

 26 Philippe of Belgium

Philippe of Belgium
0
Famous As: King of Belgium
Birthdate: April 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium

 27 Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Sax
0
Famous As: Inventor of Saxophone
Birthdate: November 6, 1814
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dinant
Died: February 7, 1894

The inventor of the saxophone, Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, was born to instrument-maker parents who had themselves re-designed the French horn. As a child, he was known as "the ghost" for his frequent brushes with death. He made many other instruments, which were included in the French army bands.

 28 Georges Lemaître

Georges Lemaître
0
Famous As: Scientist & Priest
Birthdate: July 17, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charleroi, Belgium
Died: June 20, 1966

Georges Lemaître was a mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics. Lemaître was the first person to theorize that the expansion of the universe can be used to explain the recession of nearby galaxies. In 1927, Lemaître published the first estimation of the Hubble constant. He also came up with the Big Bang theory to explain the origin of the universe.

 29 Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans
4
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

 30 Hergé

Hergé
0
Famous As: Cartoonist (Creator of Tintin)
Birthdate: May 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: March 3, 1983

Better known by his pseudonym, Hergé, Belgian cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi was the man behind Tintin, a cartoon series that several generations of kids and young adults have grown up reading. He was a self-taught artist and wrote Destination Moon, featuring Tintin, 15 years before Neil Armstrong’s feat.

 31 Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld
1
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: March 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium

 32 Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: April 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

 33 Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius
2
Famous As: Founding Father of the Modern Human Anatomy
Birthdate: December 31, 1514
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 15, 1564

Renaissance physician Andreas Vesalius is credited with illustrating the first anatomy textbook. Born into a family of physicians, he studied at the University of Paris medical school and often dissected corpses retrieved from cemeteries. He was the first to reject Galenic anatomy and to introduce human dissection in anatomy.

 34 Matthias Schoenaerts

Matthias Schoenaerts
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Antwerp

 35 Marc Dutroux

Marc Dutroux
3
Famous As: Criminal, Electrician, Serial killer
Birthdate: November 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ixelles / Elsene

 36 Mousa Dembélé

Mousa Dembélé
1
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: July 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wilrijk, Belgium

 37 Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins
0
Famous As: Track cyclist, Sport cyclist
Birthdate: April 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ghent

British road and track cyclist Bradley Wiggins scripted history by becoming the first British racer to win the Tour de France, in 2012. Though born to Australian track cyclist Gary Wiggins, he was initially a fan of football but turned to cycling after watching the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  

 38 Philip I of Castile

Philip I of Castile
2
Famous As: King of Castile
Birthdate: July 22, 1478
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bruges, Belgium
Died: September 25, 1506

Philip the Handsome, son of Roman emperor Maximilian I, served as the Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and then as the first Habsburg King of Castile, as Philip I, in 1506. Also known as the Fair, Philip died of typhoid fever in September 1506, although many suspected poisoning.

 39 Divock Origi

Divock Origi
1
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: April 18, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ostend

 40 John of Gaunt

John of Gaunt
0
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: March 6, 1340
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: February 3, 1399

 41 Yannick Ferreira Carrasco

Yannick Ferreira Carrasco
1
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: September 4, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tepito

 42 Baudouin of Belgium

Baudouin of Belgium
0
Famous As: King of the Belgians
Birthdate: September 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Château du Stuyvenberg, Brussels, Belgium
Died: July 31, 1993

 43 Joseph Plateau

Joseph Plateau
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist
Birthdate: October 14, 1801
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: September 15, 1883

 44 Moncef Slaoui

Moncef Slaoui
0
Famous As: Who served as the Head of Operation Warp Speed
Birthdate: July 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Agadir, Morocco

 45 Raf Simons

Raf Simons
0
Famous As: Fashion Designer
Birthdate: January 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neerpelt, Pelt, Belgium

Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons initially gained fame as a furniture designer and later established his own menswear label. Inspired by music and arts, his label has gradually turned its focus to simple silhouettes. He has also been associated with Dior and is now the co-creative director of Prada.

 46 Albert I of Belgium

Albert I of Belgium
0
Famous As: King of the Belgians (1902-1934)
Birthdate: April 8, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: February 17, 1934

Albert I of Belgium ruled as King of the Belgians for over 25 years from 1909 to 1934. He played a crucial role during World War I, for which he is often referred to as the Soldier King or Knight King in Belgium. A renowned alpinist, Albert died in a mountaineering accident and his death was mourned around the world.

 47 Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck
0
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 22, 1599
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp
Died: December 9, 1641

Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who started painting at an early age before going on to become the leading court painter in England. Although he is best remembered for painting the aristocracy, van Dyck also painted biblical and mythological subjects. In 1632, Anthony van Dyck received a knighthood from Charles I.

 48 Albert II of Belgium

Albert II of Belgium
0
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 6, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium

 49 Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet
0
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: March 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sint-Truiden

 50 Michel Qissi

Michel Qissi
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oujda, Morocco

Michel Qissi is a Moroccan-Belgian actor who achieved fame for his portrayal of Tong Po in the popular 1989 American martial arts film, Kickboxer. An exponent of boxing, Shōtōkan Karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai, Qissi is known for his collaboration with Jean-Claude van Damme, whom he befriended at an early age.

Father of oil painting, Jan Van Eyck, world famous baroque player Peter Paul Rubens, architectural giant Victor Horta, legendary harmonica player Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans, sports hero Eddy Merckx, creator of synthetic rubber Reverend Julius Nieuwland, eminent bacteriologist Jules Bordet, celebrated fashion designer Dries Van Noten all call Belgium their home. Now, are you stunned? Go through this section and find out more about famous Belgian men, their life and works.