Famous Dutch Men

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They say that a man's greatness outlives him and rightly so! Netherland's history is pregnant with extraordinary feats of exceptional Dutchmen who have redefined the way the world works. We laud Germans for their technology, adore the Swedes for the design, envy Italians for their fashion, and drool over French for their food. But when it comes to the Dutch, we cannot just stop at one single trait. From their quintessential humor to their strong sense of accountability, several things define a true Dutch. But above all, a Dutch is known for his ingenuity. No wonder, some of the world's greatest inventions have originated in Netherlands. From telescope to fire hose and from electrocardiograph to chocolate bar, the Dutch has pioneered some of world's greatest inventions. Listed below are famous Dutch men whose contribution and achievements have earned them exceptionally influential place in the world arena today. Let us explore the timeline, trivia, timeline and interesting facts and study the biographies of the Dutch men who matter.
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 1 
Vincent van Gogh
(One of the Most Famous and Influential Artists of All Time)
Vincent van Gogh
71
Birthdate: March 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zundert, Netherlands
Died: July 29, 1890

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter and is said to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. However, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and died by suicide at 37 after years of mental health issues and poverty. He gained recognition and respect in the 20th century.

 2 
Eddie Van Halen
(Guitarist and Keyboardist of the Rock Band Van Halen)
Eddie Van Halen
39
Birthdate: January 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: October 6, 2020

Eddie Van Halen was an American songwriter and guitarist. The co-founder of the popular rock band Van Halen, Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock music. He is credited with popularizing the tapping technique, which is now used extensively by guitarists all over the world.

 3 
Max Verstappen
(The Most Successful Dutch Racing Driver and 2021 Formula One World Champion)
Max Verstappen
44
Birthdate: September 30, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium
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 4 
Johan Cruyff
(One of the Greatest Football Players & One of the Best Managers Ever)
Johan Cruyff
19
Birthdate: April 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 24, 2016
Dutch midfielder/forward Johan Cruyff pioneered the idea of Total Football, along with coach Rinus Michels. The first three-time Ballon d'Or-winner was known for his signature move, the Cruyff Turn. He made it to FIFA 100 and ranked second only to Pele in an official World Player of the Century poll.
 5 
Rembrandt
(One of the Greatest Visual Artists in the History of Art)
Rembrandt
9
Birthdate: July 15, 1606
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
Died: October 4, 1669

Rembrandt was a Dutch printmaker, painter, and draughtsman. A master in three major art media, Rembrandt is widely considered the most important visual artist in Dutch art history and one of the greatest of all time. He is also considered the greatest etcher in the history of printmaking. His life and work inspired several films, including the 1936 movie Rembrandt.

 6 
Baruch Spinoza
(One of the Most Important Philosophers of the Early Modern Period)
Baruch Spinoza
17
Birthdate: November 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: February 21, 1677
Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is best remembered for his rationalist ideas and his posthumously released book Ethics. He opposed Rene Descartes’s ideas and believed that God was an abstract entity. He was later expelled from the Jewish society, while his books were banned by the Catholic Church.
 7 
Hieronymus Bosch
8
Birthdate: 1450 AD
Birthplace: Burgundian Netherlands
Died: August 9, 1516
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter and a significant figure of the Early Netherlandish painting school. Most of his works are made of oil on oak wood and consist of religious themes and dark depictions of Hell. One of his notable works is The Garden of Earthly Delights.
 8 
Johannes Vermeer
(One of the Greatest Painters of the Dutch Golden Age)
Johannes Vermeer
9
Birthdate: October 31, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: December 15, 1675

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter renowned for his use of light in paintings. Although he did not achieve fame during his lifetime, Vermeer's works gained popularity in the 19th century. Today, Vermeer is often counted among the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Over the years, Vermeer's work has inspired artists like Wilhelm Hammershoi and Thomas Wilmer Dewing.

 9 
Dennis Bergkamp
(Dutch Retired Football Forward)
Dennis Bergkamp
8
Birthdate: May 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam

Dutch football coach and retired player Dennis Bergkamp had a successful playing career with clubs such as Ajax, Arsenal, and Inter Milan. Initially a midfielder, he later played as a striker. The 2-time FIFA World Player of the Year bronze winner also gained the nickname the Non-Flying Dutchman for his fear of flying.

 10 
Ruud Gullit
(One of the Greatest Football Players of All Time)
Ruud Gullit
16
Birthdate: September 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ruud Gullit is a Dutch former football player. Considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, Gullit was known for his versatility as he could play as an attacking midfielder, forward, or midfielder. During the 1988 UEFA European Football Championship, he led his national team to its first title.

 11 
Alistair Overeem
(Heavyweight Mixed Martial Artist, Kickboxer)
Alistair Overeem
7
Birthdate: May 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
 12 
Virgil van Dijk
(Dutch Professional Football Centre-Back)
Virgil van Dijk
10
Birthdate: July 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Breda, Netherlands

Dutch footballer Virgil van Dijk plays as a defender for Liverpool and has won several titles, such as a Premier League, with them. Starting his senior career with Groningen, he later played for teams such as Celtic and Southampton. He is the only defender to be named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year.

 13 
Piet Mondrian
(One of the Greatest Artists of the 20th Century)
Piet Mondrian
5
Birthdate: 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: January 31, 1944

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is remembered for pioneering what is known as 20th-century abstract art. He co-founded the De Stijl art movement with Theo van Doesburg and gave rise to Neoplasticism. His art was influenced by Cubism. Many of his paintings consist of geometric shapes in particular sets of colors.

 14 
Clarence Seedorf
(Dutch Professional Football Manager and Former Player Who is Considered One of the Best Midfielders of His Generation)
Clarence Seedorf
8
Birthdate: April 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paramaribo, Suriname

Clarence Seedorf is a Dutch former football player. Widely considered one of the best midfielders of his era, Seedorf was included in Pelé's FIFA 100 list in 2004. Having won several continental and domestic titles for clubs in the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, and Spain, Clarence Seedorf is one of the most celebrated and decorated Dutch players of all time.

 15 
Robin van Persie
(Regarded as One of the Best Football Strikers of His Generation)
Robin van Persie
10
Birthdate: August 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Once one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Dutch football coach and retired footballer Robin van Persie is also known as one of the greatest strikers of his time. He had successful stints with Arsenal and Manchester United and was also part of the Dutch squad that was the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up.

 16 
Memphis Depay
(Dutch Football Forward)
Memphis Depay
17
Birthdate: February 13, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moordrecht, Netherlands

Dutch footballer Memphis Depay is best known as a forward for Barcelona. Starting his senior career with PSV Eindhoven, he later also played for Manchester United and Lyon. He was also part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad and was the Eredivisie top scorer in 2014-15.

 17 
Arjen Robben
(Football Player)
Arjen Robben
10
Birthdate: January 23, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bedum, Netherlands

Widely considered one of the best Dutch soccer players of all time, Arjen Robben is known for his long-range shots, ball control, speed, and dribbling skills. He helped his national team reach the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which they lost to Spain.

 18 
Marco van Basten
(Former Dutch Football Star)
Marco van Basten
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Dutch footballer Marco van Basten is known for his successful stints at Ajax and Milan and won the Champions League thrice with the latter. However, an ankle injury cut his career short. The three-time Ballon d'Or winner later took over as the manager of Ajax and the Dutch national team.
 19 
Martin Garrix
14
Birthdate: May 14, 1996
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amstelveen, Netherlands

Dutch DJ and record producer Martin Garrix has been ranked No.1 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list. He decided to become a DJ when he was a child, and at the age of 17, he became the youngest DJ to headline the 2014 Ultra Music Festival. He has performed at many music festivals including Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival.

 20 
Rutger Hauer
(Dutch Actor Known for His Films: 'Turkish Delight', 'Nighthawks' and 'Blade Runner')
Rutger Hauer
6
Birthdate: January 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Breukelen, Netherlands
Died: July 19, 2019

Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, tagged as the Best Dutch Actor of the Century by the Dutch public, gained spotlight with his debut film, Turkish Delight, the most successful film in the history of Dutch cinema. Moving on, he gained international recognition with other Dutch films like Spetters, and etched his name in Hollywood with films like Nighthawks and Blade Runner.   

 21 
King Willem-Alexander
(King of the Netherlands )
King Willem-Alexander
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands
Willem-Alexander, son of Beatrix of the Netherlands and German-born diplomat Claus van Amsberg, took over as the king of the Netherlands after his mother’s abdication. He has served the Royal Netherlands Navy and been a member of the International Olympic Committee. His interests include sports and water management.
 22 
Michiel Huisman
(Dutch Actor Known for His Role as 'Daario Naharis' on HBO’s Fantasy Series 'Game of Thrones')
Michiel Huisman
6
Birthdate: July 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amstelveen, Netherlands

Michiel Huisman is a Dutch musician and actor who achieved international fame after taking over the role of Daario Naharis in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones in 2014. Michiel Huisman is also known for his association with the band Fontane, which was later renamed Michiel Huisman.

 23 
Wim Hof
(Dutch Extreme Athlete Known for His Ability to Withstand Low Temperatures)
Wim Hof
6
Birthdate: April 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands

Wim Hof, or The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete and motivational speaker who holds a Guinness record for the fastest half-marathon completed barefoot on ice/snow. He has also devised the Wim Hof Method, which helps one gain control over one’s body through extreme cold tolerance.

 24 
Ronald Koeman
(Football Manager, Football Player)
Ronald Koeman
7
Birthdate: March 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zaandam, Netherlands

Dutch formerfootball  player Ronald Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team during his playing days. After his retirement, he became a professional football manager and is currently the head coach of La Liga club Barcelona. Tremendously successful as a head coach, he was made the manager of Barcelona in 2020.

 25 
Matthijs de Ligt
(Football Player)
Matthijs de Ligt
7
Birthdate: August 12, 1999
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leiderdorp

Dutch footballer Matthijs de Ligt currently plays for Serie A club Juventus and the Netherlands national team as a center-back. Making his debut in 2016, he became the youngest player ever to play in a major European final the following year. Football pundits consider him to among the most highly regarded young prospects in world football.

 26 
Georginio Wijnaldum
(Dutch Football Midfielder)
Georginio Wijnaldum
8
Birthdate: November 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Dutch footballer Georginio Wijnaldum plays as a midfielder for the Italian club Roma and the French club Paris Saint-Germain. Starting his youth career with Feyenoord, as the youngest-ever player of the club, he later had successful stints with Liverpool and PSV and was the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad.

 27 
Desiderius Erasmus
(Philosopher)
Desiderius Erasmus
8
Birthdate: October 28, 1466
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: July 12, 1536

Born as an illegitimate child of a priest from Rotterdam, Desiderius Erasmus later grew up to be a significant figure of the northern Renaissance. He is remembered for his research on free will and for being the first to edit the New Testament, replacing traditional elements with new-age humanism.

 28 
Frenkie de Jong
(Dutch Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder )
Frenkie de Jong
7
Birthdate: May 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gorinchem, Netherlands
 29 
Frank Rijkaard
(Dutch Former Football Player and Former Manager Who Played as a Forward)
Frank Rijkaard
4
Birthdate: September 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dutch footballer and former manager Franklin Rijkaard has represented clubs such as Ajax, Real Zaragoza, and A.C. Milan. He has also coached clubs such as Barcelona and Sparta Rotterdam and the Dutch and Saudi Arabian national teams. He has also earned the 2005-2006 UEFA Manager of the Year honor.
 30 
Hakim Ziyech
(Dutch Football Attacking Midfielder or Winger)
Hakim Ziyech
6
Birthdate: March 19, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dronten, Netherlands

Dutch footballer Hakim Ziyech, or The Wizard, now represents Chelsea as an attacking midfielder/winger. After beginning his senior career with Heerenveen, he had a successful stint with Ajax, winning titles such as the Eredivisie with them. After representing the Dutch youth teams earlier, he now plays for the Moroccan national team.

 31 
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
2
Birthdate: October 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: August 26, 1723

Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.

 32 
Patrick Kluivert
(Retired Dutch Football Striker)
Patrick Kluivert
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Patrick Kluivert was one of the star Dutch footballers of his time who played as a striker for clubs such as Ajax, Barcelona, and AC Milan. The UEFA Euro 2000 Golden Boot winner has also managed teams such as Netherlands and Cameroon. He later held administrative positions at Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

 33 
M. C. Escher
(Dutch Graphic Artist Best Known for His Works: ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’, ‘Relativity’ and ‘Waterfall’)
M. C. Escher
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Died: March 27, 1972
Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher is remembered for his woodcuts, mezzotints, and lithographs inspired by mathematics. He did not receive much appreciation till he turned 70, when he had his first retrospective exhibition. His notable works include Relativity and Waterfall. He also drew inspiration from nature and cityscapes.
 34 
Alex van Halen
(The Drummer and Co-Founder of the Rock Band 'Van Halen')
Alex van Halen
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Alex Van Halen is an American musician known for his drumming skills. He is credited with co-founding the now-defunct band, Van Halen. The band's self-titled debut album influenced several musicians in hard rock at the time of its release in 1978. Alex is also credited with coining the term brown sound, which was usually associated with his late-brother Eddie's guitar.

 35 
Otto Frank
(German Businessman and Father of ‘Anne Frank', the Author of 'The Diary of a Young Girl’)
Otto Frank
6
Birthdate: May 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Province of Hesse-Nassau
Died: August 19, 1980
Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, published her journal, detailing her experience during the Holocaust, as The Diary of a Young Girl, after her death. Otto was the only person in his family to survive the Holocaust. A former banker, he had also served in the German army.
 36 
Wesley Sneijder
(Considered One of the Best Midfielders of His Time)
Wesley Sneijder
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

Retired Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder was known as one of the best midfielders of his time. Starting his senior career with Ajax, he later had successful stints with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Galatasaray. He was also part of the Dutch squad that became the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up.

 37 
Tiësto
(Dutch DJ and Music Producer Known for His Albums: ‘In My Memory’, ‘Just Be’ and ‘Elements of Life’)
Tiësto
8
Birthdate: January 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Breda, Netherlands

Tiësto is a Dutch record producer and DJ. Popular among fans, Tiësto was voted the Greatest DJ of All Time in a poll conducted by Mix magazine. Considered the Godfather of EDM, he was voted best DJ of the last 20 years by DJ Magazine readers in 2013. Tiësto is credited with founding the Dutch record label, Black Hole Recordings.

 38 
Edwin van der Sar
(Former Dutch Football Goalkeeper)
Edwin van der Sar
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Voorhout, Netherlands

Ajax CEO and retired Dutch footballer Edwin van der Sar began his senior career with Ajax, winning countless titles with them, such as the Eredivisie and the UEFA Champion’s League. The talented goalkeeper later had successful stints with Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United. He has also been a 2-time Best European Goalkeeper.

 39 
Louis van Gaal
(Retired Dutch Football Midfielder Who Later Turned Into a Successful Coach)
Louis van Gaal
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Retired Dutch footballer Louis van Gaal was a midfielder and now serves the Dutch national team as its head coach. While he began his playing career with Ajax, he later had an immensely successful managerial career with Ajax, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich, and was named the 1995 World Soccer Manager of the Year.

 40 
Badr Hari
(Moroccan-Dutch Heavyweight Kickboxer)
Badr Hari
9
Birthdate: December 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Moroccan-Dutch kickboxer Badr Hari, also known as Bad Boy and The Golden Boy, has won the K-1 Heavyweight and Showtime Heavyweight championships. He represented the Netherlands until his loss to Stefan Leko, after which he began playing for Morocco, due to aggressive criticism from his Dutch fans.

 41 
Aleister Black
(Wrestler)
Aleister Black
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alkmaar, Netherlands
 42 
Paul Verhoeven
(Director)
Paul Verhoeven
0
Birthdate: July 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Paul Verhoeven is a Dutch screenwriter and director whose illustrious career has spanned more than 60 years. Over the years, Verhoeven has won prestigious awards such as a Golden Globe Award, César Award, and Saturn Award. Paul Verhoeven is regarded as one of the most popular filmmakers in the Netherlands.   

 43 
André Rieu
(Violinist and Conductor Best Known for Creating the Waltz-Playing 'Johann Strauss Orchestra')
André Rieu
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Maastricht, Netherlands

André Rieu is a Dutch violinist whose work has earned him international fame for over 30 years. Also an orchestra leader, Rieu is credited with founding the Johann Strauß Orchestra, which is renowned for its unorthodox performances of classical works. André Rieu has played all over the world and is well-known for his performances of classical works by Johann Strauss. 

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
0
Birthdate: 1525 AD
Birthplace: Breda or nearby, Duchy of Brabant, Habsburg Netherlands (modern-day Netherlands)
Died: September 9, 1569
Sixteenth-century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder is remembered for his depiction of peasants through his paintings. His origins remain elusive, though most of his paintings carried his signature, which made it easy for researchers to trace the evolution of his art. Both his sons, too, became painters.
 45 
Jan van Eyck
(Painter)
Jan van Eyck
0
Birthdate: 1390 AD
Birthplace: Maaseik, Belgium
Died: July 9, 1441

Jan van Eyck was a painter best remembered for his Early Northern Renaissance art. He was one of the early innovators of Early Netherlandish painting and one of the most significant painters of his generation. A highly influential painter, Jan van Eyck's style and techniques were adopted by the Early Netherlandish painters.

 46 
Tahith Chong
(Footballer)
Tahith Chong
3
Birthdate: December 4, 1999
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Willemstad, Curaçao
Though born to a Curaçao-based footballer, Dutch footballer Tahith Chong had never watched football before the 2006 World Cup. He left for the Netherlands to train at 8 and never looked back. The Manchester United winger, who is currently on loan with Club Brugge, is of African and Chinese descent. 
 47 
Ryan Babel
(Dutch Footballer Who Can Play as a Striker or Left Winger)
Ryan Babel
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch footballer Ryan Babel who plays as both a striker and a midfielder, currently represents the Turkish club Eyüpspor. Starting his senior career with Ajax, he won both the KNVB Cup and the Eredivisie twice with them. He was also part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up Dutch team.

 48 
Guido van Rossum
(Dutch Programmer Known for Creating the 'Python' Programming Language)
Guido van Rossum
7
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum is known as the inventor of the Python programming language. He has also worked with Google and Dropbox earlier. In November 2020, he announced he announced his decision to join the Developer Division of Microsoft. He has won several honors, such as the NLUUG Award.
 49 
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
(Dutch-American Auto Racing Driver, Television Personality, and Son of Racing Driver Arie Luyendyk)
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Born in the Netherlands, to 2-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, Arie Luyendyk Jr. moved to the US with his family at age 3. He followed in his father’s footsteps to enter the arena of auto racing. He later gained fame with his appearance on The Bachelorette and his romance with Lauren Burnham.

 50 
Nathan Aké
(Dutch Footballer Who Plays as a Defender)
Nathan Aké
5
Birthdate: February 18, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands