article image
Father Damien

A Sampling of Prominent Belgian- & Flemish-Americans

Source: Gazette van Detroit
Filed under:

The contribution of Flemings and Belgians to the history of the USA is inversely proportionate to the size of their country. Below are just a few names that are internationally recognized.



Father Damien de Veuster, missionary of Molokai

George W. Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal

Karel Jan Bossart, known as the "father of the Atlas missile"

Leo Hendrick Baekeland, inventor of Velox and Bakelite

Robert Cailliau, co-inventor World Wide Web

Jan Yoors, anti-Nazi, gypsy, tapestry weaver, filmmaker

Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, explorer, missionary to the Native Americans

Georges Van Biesbroeck, astronomer

Karel Van de Poele, inventor of the electric tram

Camille Cools, founder, editor and publisher of the Gazette van Detroit

Louis C. Rabaut, Congressman from Detroit

Peter Malou, revolutionary, priest, and granddad to a prime minister

Charles John Seghers, the Apostle of Alaska

Edward Coryn, founder of the "Gazette van Moline" and Consul in Moline, Ill.

Broeder Hennepin, first European to see Niagara Falls

Rene DeSeranno, Consul

Jean-Charles Houzeau de Lehaie, "the Belgian von Humboldt"

Leon Buyse, after whom the Detroit library is named

Sylvia Parmentier, philanthropist

Marguerite Yourcenar, novelist

Maestro Desire Defauw