Known as the Dutch Donald Trump for his Islamophobic and anti-immigrant comments, Geert Wilders is the current Party for Freedom leader and a Member of the House of Representatives. While he initially studied law and worked in health insurance, he later entered politics as a speech writer.
A pioneering computer scientist from the Netherlands, Edsger W. Dijkstra had initially studied theoretical physics, before focusing on computers. He developed the domain of structured programming and also won honors such as the Turing Award. He died at 72, after a long struggle with cancer.
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is a Dutch-British billionaire businesswoman. She is the owner of a 25% controlling interest in Heineken N.V., the world's second-largest brewer. The daughter of a prominent industrialist, she has a law degree from Leiden University. Upon her father’s death in 2002, she inherited about £3 billion, becoming one of the richest people in the country.
Boyan Slat is a Dutch entrepreneur and inventor best known for founding the non-profit organization The Ocean Cleanup, which aims at removing plastic pollution from the oceans. The Ocean Cleanup, for which Slat is the current CEO, also develops technology to prevent plastic pollution. Boyan Slat has been honored with several awards, including United Nations' Champions of the Earth award.
A Dutch sociology professor, Pim Fortuyn was also a prominent politician, who founded the Pim Fortuyn List party. Known for his Islamophobic and anti-immigration comments, he was also openly gay. He was assassinated by a Dutch animal rights activist, who confessed to shooting him for targeting weaker communities in his political campaigns.
Though a high-school drop-out, Dutch aviation designer and entrepreneur Anthony Fokker showed his interest in mechanics quite early. He designed over 40 types of fighter aircrafts for the Germans during World War I. The aircraft that completed the first nonstop flight across the U.S. was also made by him.
Frits Philips, the only son of Anton Philips - a co-founder of Royal Philips Electronics N.V., served as the fourth Chairman of the BOD of Philips. Frits is also remembered for saving 382 Jews during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War for which he was later recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
Dutch-born Swiss billionaire Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza was born into a reputed steel business family. He created one of the greatest art collections by a private collector, adding to the collection he had inherited from his father. One of his 5 marriages was to Miss Spain Carmen "Tita" Cervera.
10 Marc Bolland
While he began his career with Heineken, Dutch businessman Marc Bolland has led many companies, such as Marks & Spencer and now heads European Portfolio at The Blackstone Group. He has also been part of the board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company and the ManpowerGroup.
11 Rita Verdonk
Rita Verdonk is a Dutch businesswoman and former politician. She is credited with founding a political party called Trots op Nederland and served as its leader from 2007 to 2011. She also held the office of the Minister of Justice and Security from 2003 to 2006. After retiring from active politics, Verdonk has been focusing on public and private sector.
Hailed as the Father of the Euro or Mr. Europe, Wim Duisenberg was the first president of the European Central Bank and managed the introduction of a common currency in Europe. He had also been the director of the Nederlandsche Bank and the Dutch minister of finance.
Dutch traveler and trader Jan Huyghen van Linschoten spent 6 years as the bookkeeper of the archbishop of Goa, which was under Portuguese rule then. He wrote important texts, detailing the life and culture of the East Indies, which later helped the Dutch and the English set up trade hubs in India.
A respected diamond merchant, moral philosopher and poet, Joseph de la Vega spent most of his life in Amsterdam, occupying important positions in several literary academies. Author of seven published works, most significant of which is Confusion of Confusions, a book based on Amsterdam Stock Exchange, he is also credited with writing more than 200 letters to different European statesman.
Born in Delhi, India, Rattan Chadha later founded the popular Dutch fashion brand Mexx. His vast portfolio of businesses now include the citizenM chain of hotels and the Royal Mougins Golf Resort. He has been knighted and has made significant contributions to the trade relations between the Netherlands and China.
16 Teddy Yip
Teddy Yip was an Indonesian-Dutch businessman remembered for his role in developing Macau as a popular tourist destination. He co-founded the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, which held a monopoly to run all casino and other leisure activities in Macau. A racing enthusiast, Teddy owned a Formula One team and was responsible for creating the Macau Grand Prix.
17 Dirk Stikker
Dirk Stikker was a Dutch diplomat, politician, and businessman. He is credited with co-founding the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the now defunct Freedom Party. He is best remembered for his service as the Secretary General of NATO from 1961 to 1964. Dirk Stikker also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1948 to 1952.
Joop Wilhelmus was a Dutch entrepreneur and pornographer best remembered for founding and publishing Lolita, a child pornography magazine. He advocated free sexual morality and encouraged complete sexual freedom. He also co-founded and published a pornographic magazine called Chick. Wilhelmus broke the taboo of sexuality and became a millionaire by selling his magazines and opening sex shops in the Netherlands.
Abraham Icek Tuschinski was a Dutch businessman best remembered for establishing the famous Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam. A successful theater owner, Tuschinski is also credited with founding another famous cinema in Amsterdam, the Roxy Theater. Abraham Icek Tuschinski lost all his possession during World War II and was eventually murdered in Auschwitz.
Dutch engineer and businessman Johannes van Damme was arrested at the Singapore Changi Airport, convicted of drug trafficking and was given capital punishment after 4.32 kilograms (9.5 lb) of heroin was found in a secret compartment of his trunk. This made him the first European who was executed in Singapore following its independence.
Roemer Visscher was a Dutch merchant and writer who played an important role during the Dutch Golden Age. A specialist in the epigram, Visscher also wrote emblemata, a genre where one or two rhyming sentences are accompanied by pictures. Roemer Visscher is also remembered for producing works that contain moralistic and humanistic content.
German former alpine ski racer and businessperson, Christa Kinshofer, who was tagged by the media as Glamour Girl and Hollywood Christa got her breakthrough during the 1979 season that witnessed her winning five World Cup giant slaloms in a row. She was successful in winning three Olympic medals, seven World Cup races and one World Championship medal.
23 Yang Bin
Once a successful entrepreneur who was named by Forbes in 2001 as the second richest man in China, Chinese-Dutch businessman Yang Bin fell from grace in 2002 after he was arrested on charges of tax evasion. He was fined for 2.3 million renminbi and sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2003. He was later released from prison in 2016.
Steven Martina is a Curaçaoan politician and businessman. He is the current Minister of Economic Development, having served in the same position from 2017 to 2019. Steven Martina currently represents the Partido MAN political party.
Dutch businessman and planter Jacobus Nienhuys, who went to Sumatra as a middleman to purchase tobacco ended up establishing the tobacco industry there. He founded the tobacco producing Deli Company and imported Chinese labour from Singapore to cultivate tobacco. As the company flourished, Nienhuys became a wealthy man and served as its commissioner from 1880 until his death.
26 James Sharpe
James Sharpe is a Dutch retired politician, athlete, and businessman of Aruban descent. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and his brief political career was marked by his efforts to improve the quality of sports in the Netherlands. James Sharpe's involvement in a telecom scandal led to his retirement.
Merchant and explorer Olivier Brunel, the first Flemish navigator of the Arctic Ocean, is noted for establishing trade routes between the Netherlands and Russia. He explored northern coast of Russia to search a route to China and the East Indies. He made attempts to find a northeast route and was finally drowned when his ship capsized in the Pechora River.