Find out more about the greatest Belgians, including Jean-Claude Van Damme, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Leopold II of Belgium.

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.
Romelu LukakuRomelu Lukaku
(Football Player)

13 May 1993

Jean-Claude Van DammeJean-Claude Van Damme
(Martial Artist & Actor)

18 October 1960

Eden HazardEden Hazard

07 January 1991

Kevin De Bruyne Kevin De Bruyne

28 June 1991

Leopold II of BelgiumLeopold II of Belgium
(Founder of Congo Free State)

09 April 1835


12 March 1985

Peter Paul RubensPeter Paul Rubens
(Painter & Printmaker)

28 June 1577

Philip I of CastilePhilip I of Castile
(King of Castile)

22 July 1478

Lara FabianLara Fabian

09 January 1970

Georges LemaîtreGeorges Lemaître
(Scientist & Priest)

17 July 1894

Eddy MerckxEddy Merckx

17 June 1945

Jacques BrelJacques Brel
(Singer and Actor)

08 April 1929

Andreas VesaliusAndreas Vesalius
(Founding Father of the Modern Human Anatomy)

31 December 1514

(Cartoonist (Creator of Tintin))

22 May 1907

Michel QissiMichel Qissi
(Actor, Director)

12 September 1962

Anthony van DyckAnthony van Dyck

22 March 1599

Adolphe SaxAdolphe Sax
(Inventor of Saxophone)

06 November 1814

Gerardus Mercator Gerardus Mercator

05 March 1512

Rose BertramRose Bertram

26 October 1994

Plastic BertrandPlastic Bertrand

24 February 1954

Ilya PrigogineIlya Prigogine
(Physical Chemist)

25 January 1917

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland
(Chemist & Inventor)

14 November 1863

Christian de DuveChristian de Duve

02 October 1917

Johannes OckeghemJohannes Ockeghem
(Music Composer, Choirmaster, Singer)

1410 AD

Albert ClaudeAlbert Claude
(Cell Biologist)

24 August 1899

Henri La FontaineHenri La Fontaine
(Socialist, Senator, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

22 April 1854

Rene MagritteRene Magritte

21 November 1898

Jules BordetJules Bordet
(Microbiologist and Immunologist)

13 June 1870

Adrian WillaertAdrian Willaert
(Music Composer, Teacher, Founder of the Venetian school)

1490 AD

Dominique PireDominique Pire
(Cleric, Educator)

10 February 1910

Belle PerezBelle Perez

29 January 1976

Orlando LassusOrlando Lassus

1532 AD

Abraham OrteliusAbraham Ortelius

14 April 1527

Adnan JanuzajAdnan Januzaj
(Association football player)

05 February 1995

Radja NainggolanRadja Nainggolan
(Association football player)

04 May 1988

Michy BatshuayiMichy Batshuayi
(Association football player)

02 October 1993

Marouane FellainiMarouane Fellaini
(Association football player)

22 November 1987

Yannick Ferreira CarrascoYannick Ferreira Carrasco
(Association football player)

04 September 1993

Vincent KompanyVincent Kompany

10 April 1986

Thibaut CourtoisThibaut Courtois

11 May 1992

Dries MertensDries Mertens
(Association football player)

06 May 1987

Matthias SchoenaertsMatthias Schoenaerts

08 December 1977

Axel WitselAxel Witsel
(Association football player)

12 January 1989

Dedryck BoyataDedryck Boyata
(Association football player)

28 November 1990

Toby AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
(Association football player)

02 March 1989

Thomas VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
(Association football player)

14 November 1985

Simon MignoletSimon Mignolet
(Association football player)

06 March 1988

Divock OrigiDivock Origi
(Association football player)

18 April 1995

Jan VertonghenJan Vertonghen
(Association football player)

24 April 1987

Leopold I of BelgiumLeopold I of Belgium
(Politician, Military personnel)

16 December 1790

Charles MartelCharles Martel

23 August 0686

(Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer)

21 May 1980

Youri TielemansYouri Tielemans
(Association football player)

07 May 1997

Nacer ChadliNacer Chadli
(Association football player)

02 August 1989

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of BrabantPrincess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

25 October 2001

Justine HeninJustine Henin
(Tennis player)

01 June 1982

Albert II of BelgiumAlbert II of Belgium

06 June 1934

Leopold III of BelgiumLeopold III of Belgium

03 November 1901

Kim ClijstersKim Clijsters
(Tennis player)

08 June 1983

Jan van EyckJan van Eyck

1395 AD

Cheikhou KouyatéCheikhou Kouyaté

21 December 1989

Kevin MirallasKevin Mirallas
(Association football player)

05 October 1987

Albert I of BelgiumAlbert I of Belgium
(Mountaineer, Military personnel)

08 April 1875

Laurent CimanLaurent Ciman
(Association football player)

05 August 1985

Baudouin of BelgiumBaudouin of Belgium

07 September 1930

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins
(Track cyclist, Sport cyclist)

28 April 1980

William III of the NetherlandsWilliam III of the Netherlands
(Politician, Judge)

19 February 1817

Jean-Philippe SusilovicJean-Philippe Susilovic
(Television personality)

1975 AD

Marc DutrouxMarc Dutroux
(Criminal, Electrician, Serial killer)

06 November 1956

Nabil DirarNabil Dirar

25 February 1986

Godfrey of BouillonGodfrey of Bouillon

18 September 1060

Cécile de FranceCécile de France
(Actor, Film actor)

17 July 1975

Guy VerhofstadtGuy Verhofstadt

11 April 1953

Enzo ScifoEnzo Scifo
(Association football player, Association football manager)

19 February 1966

Georges SimenonGeorges Simenon
(Writer, Novelist, Journalist)

13 February 1903