People who have never been to Belgium will joke that nobody can name even five famous Belgians. Or quip how trite the Belgians are? That besides beer and mussels, there is nothing more to add to Belgium’s portfolio. But the truth is that Belgium, with its remarkable history of art, over 60 UNESCO sites, world-famous carnival celebrations and a wad of peerless men and women, is not half as lackluster and lacking in talent as the world deems. Not the one to blow its own trumpet, Belgium has never ever overplayed its greatness. No wonder most of us did not know that distinguished talents like Hollywood heartthrobs Audrey Hepburn and Jean Claude van Damme, world famous baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, Tin Tin's creator Georges Remi, tennis star Kim Clijsters, bacteriologist Jules Bordet, and noted fashion designer Liz Claiborne are all Belgians. Surprised? Join us as we dig deep into the lives and deeds of many such famous Belgians in the biographies presented below, exploring their timeline, trivia and lesser-known facts on the way.
Leopold II of BelgiumLeopold II of Belgium
09 April 1835
Founder of Congo Free State
Jean-Claude Van DammeJean-Claude Van Damme
18 October 1960
Martial Artist & Actor

Eden HazardEden Hazard
07 January 1991
Footballer

Johnny GaleckiJohnny Galecki
30 April 1975
Actor

Kevin De Bruyne Kevin De Bruyne
28 June 1991
Footballer

Romelu LukakuRomelu Lukaku
13 May 1993
Football Player
Tony ParkerTony Parker
17 May 1982
Basketball Player

GotyeGotye
21 May 1980
Singer

Leopold I of BelgiumLeopold I of Belgium
16 December 1790
King of Belgium
StromaeStromae
12 March 1985
Rapper

Peter Paul RubensPeter Paul Rubens
28 June 1577
Painter & Printmaker
Leopold III of BelgiumLeopold III of Belgium
03 November 1901
King of Belgium

Charles MartelCharles Martel
0686 AD
Military Leader

Albert I of BelgiumAlbert I of Belgium
08 April 1875
3rd Belgian King

Giacomo PucciniGiacomo Puccini
22 December 1858
Composer

Clovis IClovis I
0466 AD
King of the Salian Franks
Philip I of CastilePhilip I of Castile
22 July 1478
King of Castile

Eddy MerckxEddy Merckx
17 June 1945
Cyclist

Father DamienFather Damien
03 January 1840
Saint

Georges LemaîtreGeorges Lemaître
17 July 1894
Scientist & Priest
Perkin WarbeckPerkin Warbeck
1474 AD
Pretender to English Throne

Jacques BrelJacques Brel
08 April 1929
Singer and Actor
Michel QissiMichel Qissi
12 September 1962
Actor, Director

HergeHergé
22 May 1907
Cartoonist (Creator of Tintin)

Lara FabianLara Fabian
09 January 1970
Singer
Mary of BurgundyMary of Burgundy
13 February 1457
Duchess

Godfrey of BouillonGodfrey of Bouillon
18 September 1060
Ruler
Georges SimenonGeorges Simenon
13 February 1903
Novelist

Gerardus Mercator Gerardus Mercator
05 March 1512
Cartographer

Raf SimonsRaf Simons
12 January 1968
Fashion Designer
Anthony van DyckAnthony van Dyck
22 March 1599
Painter

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Andreas VesaliusAndreas Vesalius
31 December 1514
Founding Father of the Modern Human Anatomy
Adolphe SaxAdolphe Sax
06 November 1814
Inventor of Saxophone

Plastic BertrandPlastic Bertrand
24 February 1954
Musician

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland
14 November 1863
Chemist & Inventor

Ilya PrigogineIlya Prigogine
25 January 1917
Physical Chemist
Rose BertramRose Bertram
26 October 1994
Model
Johannes OckeghemJohannes Ockeghem
1410 AD
Music Composer, Choirmaster, Singer

Natacha Van HonackerNatacha Van Honacker
 
Eden Hazard's Wife

Christian de DuveChristian de Duve
02 October 1917
Biochemist

Albert ClaudeAlbert Claude
24 August 1899
Cell Biologist
Adrian WillaertAdrian Willaert
1490 AD
Music Composer, Teacher, Founder of the Venetian

Jules BordetJules Bordet
13 June 1870
Microbiologist and Immunologist

Henri La FontaineHenri La Fontaine
22 April 1854
Socialist, Senator, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Belle PerezBelle Perez
29 January 1976
Musician

Rene MagritteRene Magritte
21 November 1898
 
Dominique PireDominique Pire
10 February 1910
Cleric, Educator

Cleo WattenströmCleo Wattenström
12 June 1992
Tattoo Artist
Olivia RouyreOlivia Rouyre
29 July 1999
YouTuber

Orlando LassusOrlando Lassus
1532 AD
Composer

Matthias SchoenaertsMatthias Schoenaerts
08 December 1977
Actor
Max VerstappenMax Verstappen
30 September 1997
Racing driver

Lance StrollLance Stroll
29 October 1998
Racing driver
Thibaut CourtoisThibaut Courtois
11 May 1992
Footballer

Prince Charles Alexander of LorrainePrince Charles Alexander of Lorraine
12 December 1712
General

Philippe of BelgiumPhilippe of Belgium
15 April 1960
King of Belgium

Marc DutrouxMarc Dutroux
06 November 1956
Criminal, Electrician, Serial killer

Divock OrigiDivock Origi
18 April 1995
Association football player
Vincent KompanyVincent Kompany
10 April 1986
Footballer

Dries MertensDries Mertens
06 May 1987
Association football player

Jan VertonghenJan Vertonghen
24 April 1987
Association football player

Adnan JanuzajAdnan Januzaj
05 February 1995
Association football player
Albert II of BelgiumAlbert II of Belgium
06 June 1934
Politician

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins
28 April 1980
Track cyclist, Sport cyclist
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of BrabantPrincess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
25 October 2001
 

Marouane FellainiMarouane Fellaini
22 November 1987
Association football player

Baudouin of BelgiumBaudouin of Belgium
07 September 1930
King
Michy BatshuayiMichy Batshuayi
02 October 1993
Association football player

Radja NainggolanRadja Nainggolan
04 May 1988
Association football player
Axel WitselAxel Witsel
12 January 1989
Association football player

Alice RobertsAlice Roberts
29 July 1906
Actress

Justine HeninJustine Henin
01 June 1982
Tennis player
Marc RichMarc Rich
18 December 1934
Business Person

Jean-Philippe SusilovicJean-Philippe Susilovic
1975 AD
Television personality
Toby AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
02 March 1989
Association football player

Thomas VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
14 November 1985
Footballer

Charles MichelCharles Michel
21 December 1975
Politician, Lawyer

Kim ClijstersKim Clijsters
08 June 1983
Tennis player
Stoffel VandoorneStoffel Vandoorne
26 March 1992
Racing driver
Cécile de FranceCécile de France
17 July 1975
Actor, Film actor

Elio Di RupoElio Di Rupo
18 July 1951
Politician

Youri TielemansYouri Tielemans
07 May 1997
Association football player

Carlota of MexicoCarlota of Mexico
07 June 1840
Empress
Chantal AkermanChantal Akerman
06 June 1950
Film director, Actor, Screenwriter, Film producer,

Dana WinnerDana Winner
10 February 1965
Singer

Patrick BauchauPatrick Bauchau
06 December 1938
Actor, Screenwriter

Simon MignoletSimon Mignolet
06 March 1988
Association football player

Dedryck BoyataDedryck Boyata
28 November 1990
Association football player
Jacky IckxJacky Ickx
01 January 1945
Formula One driver, Rally driver, Motorcycle

Nacer ChadliNacer Chadli
02 August 1989
Association football player
Peter PiotPeter Piot
17 February 1949
Microbiologist

Virginie EfiraVirginie Efira
05 May 1977
Actor, Television presenter, Journalist
Léon DegrelleLéon Degrelle
15 June 1906
Politician, Journalist
Prince Gabriel of BelgiumPrince Gabriel of Belgium
20 August 2003