Famous Dutch Men

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 

Vincent van Gogh
62
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 
Max Verstappen
(Racing driver)

Max Verstappen
38
Birthdate: September 30, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium

 3 
Johan Cruyff
(Football player)

Johan Cruyff
18
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.
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 4 
Rembrandt
(Painter)

Rembrandt
7
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.

 5 

Johannes Vermeer
7
Birthdate: July 15, 1606, 1632
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: November 30, 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.

 6 
Baruch Spinoza
(Philosopher)

Baruch Spinoza
15
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
6
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.
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 8 
Ruud Gullit
(Football player)

Ruud Gullit
8
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.

 9 
Alistair Overeem
(Heavyweight Mixed Martial Artist, Kickboxer)

Alistair Overeem
6
Birthdate: May 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

 10 
Dennis Bergkamp
(Association football player)

Dennis Bergkamp
6
Birthdate: May 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam

 11 
Clarence Seedorf
(Football player, Football Manager)

Clarence Seedorf
7
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.

 12 
Piet Mondrian
(Painter)

Piet Mondrian
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1976, 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.

 13 
Virgil van Dijk
(Footballer centre-back)

Virgil van Dijk
8
Birthdate: July 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Breda, Netherlands

 14 
Robin van Persie
(Football player)

Robin van Persie
9
Birthdate: August 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

 15 
Memphis Depay
(Footballer)

Memphis Depay
16
Birthdate: February 13, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moordrecht, Netherlands

 16 
Arjen Robben
(Football Player)

Arjen Robben
7
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.

 17 

Martin Garrix
12
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.

 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 
King Willem-Alexander
(King of the Netherlands)

King Willem-Alexander
3
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.

 20 
Wim Hof
(Athlete)

Wim Hof
5
Birthdate: April 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands

 21 

Michiel Huisman
4
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.

 22 

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.   

 23 
Ronald Koeman
(Football Manager, Football Player)

Ronald Koeman
6
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.

 24 

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.

 25 
Georginio Wijnaldum
(Footballer midfielder)

Georginio Wijnaldum
7
Birthdate: November 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

 26 
Hakim Ziyech
(Footballer attacking midfielder or winger)

Hakim Ziyech
6
Birthdate: March 19, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dronten, Netherlands

 27 
Matthijs de Ligt
(Football Player)

Matthijs de Ligt
5
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.

 28 
Frank Rijkaard
(Football player)

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.

 29 
Patrick Kluivert
(Football player Striker)

Patrick Kluivert
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 30 
M. C. Escher
(Graphic artist)

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.

 31 
Frenkie de Jong
(Football player)

Frenkie de Jong
5
Birthdate: May 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gorinchem, Netherlands

 32 
Otto Frank
(Father of Anne Frank)

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.

 33 
Wesley Sneijder
(Football player)

Wesley Sneijder
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

 34 
Aleister Black
(Wrestler)

Aleister Black
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alkmaar, Netherlands

 35 
Edwin van der Sar
(Football player)

Edwin van der Sar
1
Birthdate: October 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Voorhout, Netherlands

 36 

Tiësto
6
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.

 37 
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.   

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.

 39 
Badr Hari
(Kickboxer)

Badr Hari
7
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.

 40 
André Rieu
(Violinist and Conductor Best Known for Creating the Waltz-Playing 'Johann Strauss Orchestra')

André Rieu
1
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. 

 41 
Louis van Gaal
(Dutch football manager, former footballer midfielder)

Louis van Gaal
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 42 
Ryan Babel
(Footballer striker or left winger)

Ryan Babel
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 43 
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.

 44 
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. 

 45 
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
(Auto Racing Driver)

Arie Luyendyk Jr.
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 's-Hertogenbosch, Noord-Brabant, 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.

Armin van Buuren
1
Birthdate: December 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leiden

Armin van Buuren is a Dutch record producer and DJ. He is best known for hosting a weekly radio show called A State of Trance (ASOT), which is broadcast in 84 countries to nearly 40 million listeners on over 100 FM radio stations. Armin has been named by DJ Mag as the number one DJ on a record five occasions.

 47 
Gegard Mousasi
(Mixed Martial Artist)

Gegard Mousasi
2
Birthdate: August 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Gegard Mousasi, also known as “The Dreamcatcher,” was an amateur boxer and kickboxer before he soared to fame as a mixed martial artist. He now competes for Bellator MMA and is a two-time Bellator middleweight world champion. He has also previously been the DREAM light heavyweight and middleweight champion.

 48 

Marwan Kenzari
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Marwan Kenzari is a Tunisian Dutch actor who achieved popularity in 2013 when he won the Golden Calf, the Dutch equivalent of the Oscars, for Best Actor for his portrayal of Majid in the action drama-martial arts film, Wolf. Kenzari went on to achieve international recognition for his portrayal of Joe in the 2020 American superhero film The Old Guard.  

 49 
Guido van Rossum
(Creator of the Python programming language)

Guido van Rossum
4
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.

 50 
Christiaan Huygens
(Mathematician, Physicist)

Christiaan Huygens
1
Birthdate: April 14, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: July 8, 1695

From proposing the wave theory of light to discovering the actual shape of the rings of Saturn and inventing the pendulum clock, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens had contributed a lot to science. Born to a diplomat, Huygens had the privilege of an elite education but remain sickly throughout his life.