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.
14
Famous As: Martial Artist & Actor
Birthdate: October 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sint-Agatha-Berchem

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 Tony Parker

Tony Parker.
4
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: May 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bruges

Tony Parker is a French-American former basketball player. During his playing career, he helped the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA win four NBA championships. He currently plays a major role in France's professional basketball league 'LNB Pro A' where he owns one of the league's team, ASVEL Basket. Also a philanthropist, Parker serves as the ambassador for Make-A-Wish France.

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 3 Gotye

Gotye.
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bruges
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.

 4 Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte.
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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.
3
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.
12
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 Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne.
4
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.

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 8 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.

 9 Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki.
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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 Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini.
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: December 22, 1858
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lucca
Died: November 29, 1924

Born into a musical dynasty, composer Giacomo Puccini lost his father at age 5. Some of his best opera pieces include Madama Butterfly and La Bohème. The suicide of his maid, who was wrongly accused by his wife of being in an affair with him, affected his later career adversely.

 11 Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium.
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Famous As: King of the Belgians
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 Thibaut Courtois

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

 13 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.

 14 Matthias Schoenaerts

Matthias Schoenaerts
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Antwerp

 15 Michy Batshuayi

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

 16 Charles Martel

Charles Martel.
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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 Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll
3
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: October 29, 1998
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

 19 Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx.
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Famous As: Cyclist
Birthdate: June 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: 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.

 20 Philippe of Belgium

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

 21 Vincent Kompany

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

 22 Marouane Fellaini

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

 23 Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium.
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Famous As: King of Belgium
Birthdate: December 16, 1790
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ehrenburg Palace, 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.

 24 Divock Origi

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

 25 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.

 26 Adolphe Sax

Adolphe Sax.
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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.

 27 Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans
1
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: May 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

 28 Mousa Dembélé

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

 29 Clovis I

Clovis I.
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Famous As: King of the Salian Franks
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.

 30 Hergé

Hergé.
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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 Bradley Wiggins

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

 32 Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen
1
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapellen, Flanders, 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 Dries Mertens

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

 35 Philip I of Castile

Philip I of Castile.
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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.

 36 Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld
0
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: March 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antwerp

 37 Axel Witsel

Axel Witsel
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Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: January 12, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liège

 38 Yannick Ferreira Carrasco

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

 39 Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel.
2
Famous As: Singer and Actor
Birthdate: April 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaerbeek
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.

 40 John of Gaunt

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

 41 Albert I of Belgium

Albert I of Belgium.
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Famous As: 3rd Belgian King
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.

 42 Nacer Chadli

Nacer Chadli
1
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: August 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Liège

 43 Albert II of Belgium

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

 44 Simon Mignolet

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

 45 Abraham Ortelius

Abraham Ortelius
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Famous As: Cartographer
Birthdate: April 14, 1527
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp
Died: June 28, 1598

 46 Baudouin of Belgium

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

 47 Joseph Plateau

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

 48 Frank Ntilikina

Frank Ntilikina
1
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: July 28, 1998
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium

 49 Perkin Warbeck

Perkin Warbeck.
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Famous As: Pretender to English Throne
Birthdate: 1474 AD
Birthplace: Tournai, Belgium
Died: November 23, 1499
While dressed in his employer’s clothes in Cork, Perkin Warbeck was told by Yorkists that he resembled someone from the royalty. In a bid to overthrow King Henry VII, he was made to impersonate Richard, son of Edward IV. After unsuccessful clashes with Henry, Warbeck was hanged to death.

 50 Mehdi Dehbi

Mehdi Dehbi
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 5, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium

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.