Famous people from Amsterdam


Amsterdam's concentric canals resemble the circles of hell.

The world knows Camus as one of the outstanding novelists and philosophers of the 20th Century. A man of the pen, he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature. Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, both coming from France, were prominent figures of Existentialism. Giving rise to the idea of absurdism constituted Camus's most crucial contribution to this philosophy. He began his career with a book titled 'L'envers et L'endroit' (Betwixt and Between,
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Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch navigator, especially renowned for discovering Tasmania. He was born in Lutjegast, in the province of Groningen, but not much about his life is known until he moved to Amsterdam, and, already as a widower, married Jannetjie Tjaers. In the service of the Dutch East India Company, his first journey took place in 1634, when on a trading ship he went from Batavia (today's Jakarta) to the Moluccas. Tasman was also sent,
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This popular Dutch actor and TV personality of the 20th Century was born in Amsterdam. His career spanned a period of almost 60 years. He had his debut as an actor in 1940, appearing in Ludwig Berger's film 'Ergens in Nederland'. Among numerous cinema productions and television shows, Albert Mol was appreciated for his great performance in 'Fanfare' (1958) and 'Lieve Jongens' (1980), which was a film based on a novel by Gerard Reve taking up the subject of complicated homosexual relationships.
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Kuipers is the second Dutchman, after Wubbo Ockels, to fly in space and the first one to do so on a Russian spacecraft. Born in Amsterdam, he attended Van der Waals Lyceum (now Amstel Lyceum), graduating in 1977. Then he studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam, receiving a Medical Doctorate in 1987. Kuipers was an officer of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Medical Corps, which let him investigate the behaviour of pilots of high-performance aircraft.
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One of the most talked-about victims of the Shoah, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who wrote a diary while her family was hiding in Amsterdam from German Nazis during World War II. The last entry is dated August 1st, 1944. After they were arrested on August 4th, Anne and her sister were transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they both died as a result of typhus. Only their father managed to survive. The first version of Anne's diary was issued in 1947,
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Also known as Benedictus de Spinoza, he was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese-Jewish origin, born in Amsterdam to a family of converts and nevertheless received an Orthodox Jewish upbringing from his father, who was a merchant and importer. Baruch didn't want to follow in those footsteps, devoting himself to two passions – philosophy and optics. He began working as a lens grinder in order to support himself. Excommunicated from the Jewish community, he probably lived and worked in the school of Franciscus van den Enden,
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His name remains immortal for the temperature scale that he invented. This German-Dutch physicist was born in Gdansk (Danzig) in Poland to a merchant family who often changed homes within the Hanseatic League. Daniel's mother was a daughter of a prominent Danzig businessman named Schumann. In the wake of an accident, probably mushroom poisoning, his parents died, and young Fahrenheit found himself in Amsterdam, where he had to take up some training in order to work as a merchant.
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He was the founder of Heineken, which today is an international beer company and the largest brewery in the Netherlands. Not much of his private life is known, until 1863, when as a 22-year- old man he decided to buy a brewery in Amsterdam and start his own production. His choice was “Den Hoyberg” (also known as The Haystack), for which he paid at that time the equivalent of about 21.80 Euro. He was the first brewer to set up his own laboratory,
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Born in Amsterdam as Gerard Kornelis van het Reve, he was a significant Dutch post-war writer, known as one of the “Great Three” along with W.F. Hermans and Harry Mulisch. He attended the Vossius Gymnasium in Amsterdam. During World War II, he studied graphic design. Between 1945 and 1947, Reve worked as a reporter for Het Parool, the national daily newspaper. His debut 'De avonden' (The Evenings, 1947) turned out to be successful, as this controversial novel was awarded with the Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize,
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He was a Dutch naval lieutenant and is remembered as a national hero. Born in Amsterdam as Jan Carolus Josephus van Speijk, he became an orphan only a few weeks after his birth. In 1820, he joined the Royal Netherlands Navy. Between 1823 and 1825, he served in the Dutch East Indies. Due to his successful efforts on Bangka and Java, van Speyk received the nickname Terror of the Bandits. When the Belgian Revolution broke out in 1830,
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An Amsterdam native, Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (also spelled Cruyff outside of the Netherlands) is a former football player, renowned manager and coach. Between 1959 and1964, he played in the youth club Amsterdam Football Club Ajax, becoming a successful striker and playmaker, winning the award for the European Footballer of the Year three times in the early 1970s. Admired for his technical skills, he was associated with a style known as Total Football and the Cruijff Turn.
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Marco van Basten is one of the most prominent and loved Dutch players of all times. This phenomenal Dutch striker was ranked eighth in the election for Football Player of the Century, organized by the France Football magazine. The living legend started his fabulous career at the age of seven, when he joined the club EDO from his hometown Utrecht. The next year Marco moved to UVV Utrecht, where he spent his childhood. In 1982 the young talent was noticed by the greatest Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam and moved there.
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This most famous admiral, who played a significant role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th Century, was born in Vlissingen (Flushing)..He was 11 when he first went out to sea, serving for the Lampsins family. From 1621 to 1622, young de Ruyter served under Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, and by 1635 he was a merchant captain. He fought against the Barbary pirates off the North African coast. Despite his plans to settle with his wife and children in Amsterdam,
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I really like documentaries, therefore reality is important to me when I do fiction. It’s often related to my own life, my Dutch background. The art scene in Holland has always attempted to be realistic. The Dutch painters of 400 years ago were meticulously realistic.

This Dutch film director, screenwriter and producer gained international fame for 'RoboCop' (1987), 'Total Recall' (1990), 'Basic Instinct' (1992) and 'Starship Troopers' (1997). Born in Amsterdam, his father was a schoolteacher and his mother a hatmaker.
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Citizens and social organisations in the Netherlands have proven through the years that they can absorb great changes in the world and our own society.

Born as Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Prinses der Nederlanden, Prinses van Oranje-Nassau, Prinses van Lippe-Biesterfeld at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn, she was the first child of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. When World War II broke out, her family moved to the United Kingdom. Soon after, she was in Ottawa,
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Ruud Gullit, together with Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard, formed the world-known Dutch trio that was part of the strong Dutch national team and the then best European club AC Milan in the 1980s and early 1990s. During his career Gullit has changed his clubs quite often. He first started playing football at the age of eight with the Meerboys club. Later he passed through the junior stages of Amsterdam Old West and DWK to sign his first professional contract with Haarlem in 1979.
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A doctor of Jewish-Portuguese origin, he remains especially appreciated as a city planner and one of the most visionary Amsterdammers. His middle-class family settled in the Netherlands in the 17th Century. Samuel was sent to a Latin school, and at the age of 20 began studying medicine in Leiden, graduating with honours in 1839. Having observed the daily habits of his poor patients, he implemented projects to improve their health and hygiene, and the quality of life in Amsterdam in general.
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