Doctors and scientists

Jacob Bording (1511-1560)
medic and royal personal physician. Jacob Nikolaus Bording was born in Antwerp in 1511 into a wealthy and respected family, from which later Pope Hadrian VI. should emerge. He studied medicine in Montpellier, among others, and became a professor at Rostock University. There he also practiced as the Duke’s personal physician. King Christian III later called him to his personal physician in Copenhagen, where he was also to teach as a professor. Bording, who published several works – for example “Pathology, a commentary on three books by Galen”, died in Copenhagen in 1560.

Jean-François Borel (born 1933)
microbiologist and immunologist. Jean-François Borel was born in Antwerp in 1933 and is believed to be one of the discoverers of the drug ciclosporin, which is mainly used in transplants and has an immunosuppressive effect. Borel studied in his hometown and in Zurich. In 1981 he followed a call to Bern as a professor. In the 1980s he became Vice President of what is now the pharmaceutical company Novartis. The scientist, who has received several awards and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Basel, received the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, etc.

Jean-François Borel

Writer, poet and publisher

Hadewich of Antwerp (mid-13th century)
poet. Little is known about the poet and visionary Hadewich. Only her writings bear witness to her life. Presumably she led a group of beguines. Letters from the mystic have also appeared. The word Minne appears heaped up in her writings, which can be seen as a mystical connection between man and God. She is said to have mastered the Latin language.

Maria Belpaire (1853-1948)
Flemish writer. Maria Elisabeth Hyacinth Belpaire was born in Antwerp in 1853 according to estatelearning. The author wrote especially poetry, but also wrote essays of a literary nature. Her six-volume series “Wonderland” was published between 1894 and 1908. Between 1914 and 1918 she was the director of the newspaper “De Belgische Standaard”. Maria Belpaire, who received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University in Leuven for her commitment to the Church – she founded the Catholic Flemish University for Women, for example – died in her hometown in 1948.

Daniel Bomberg (1470 or 1480-1549)
publisher, printer. Daniel Bomberg was born in Antwerp between 1470 and 1480, had a good education and training and initially settled in Venice. There he published Bibles, commented and uncommented, but rabbinical. He became famous for his sales office in Venice, where he created the high-quality books. The Jewish Lexicon still honors him today as “one of the most important Hebrew book printers of all time”. Bomberg died in 1549 in his hometown, to which he had returned ten years earlier.

Jef Geeraerts (1930-2015)
The Antwerp-born writer Jozef Adriaan Anna Geeraerts is best known for his crime novels. In 1969 he received the Belgian state prize for narrative prose for his book “Imzeichen des Hengstes” and in 1986 the most famous literary prize for Belgian crime novels, the Kogel diamond, for the novel “De zaak Alzheimer”. A few other books were published in German, such as “Der Generalstaatsanwalt” (2002). Geeraert’s writings, which were often socially critical, were partially confiscated because they told autobiographically, for example, of his time as an administrative officer in the colony of the Belgian Congo. There he was badly wounded and afterwards plunged into a deep crisis. Jef Geeraerts died on May 11th in Ghent, Belgium.

Albert Langen (1869-1909)
publisher and founder of the satirical magazine “Simplicissimus”. Albert Langen was born in Antwerp in 1869 as the son of an industrialist. His family later moved to Cologne, but Albert Langen went to Paris, where he met many artists and poets such as Émile Zola. Langen founded his satirical magazine in Munich in 1896, which was published until 1944 and focused particularly on bourgeois morality, which was aimed at Wilhelmine politics and civil servants. He put a lot of emphasis on cultural work, but also on design. Langen died in Munich in 1909.


Els Callens (born 1970)
tennis player. Els Callens was born in Antwerp in 1970 and made a popular name for herself through tennis doubles, which she mastered very successfully. Ten WTA tournaments won speak for themselves. In Sydney she also stood on the court at the Olympic Games and won the bronze medal with her partner Dominique Van Roost. Callens, who threw professional serves over the tennis net for the first time in 1990, officially ended her professional career in 2005.

Sébastien Godefroid (born 1971)
sailor and world champion. Sébastien Godefroid was born in Antwerp in 1971 and won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In Beijing in 2008 he was allowed to carry the flag at the opening ceremony of the games. After the event he ended his Olympic career and from 2009 became the association trainer of the Flemish Yacht Association. Sébastien Godefroid studied sport in Brussels. He later learned to sail at the Royal Liberty Yacht Club in Antwerp.

Rik Hoevenaers (1902-1958)
racing cyclist and world champion. Henri Hoevenaers was born in Antwerp in 1902. Just 22 years later, he competed in the Olympic Games in Paris and brought home three medals. A year later he took part in the Apeldoorner UCI Road World Championships and became amateur world champion. Rik Hoevenaers, who was also a three-time Belgian champion, died in his hometown in 1958.

Mats Rits (born 1993)
football player. Mats Rits was born in Antwerp in 1993 and plays in midfield. Since 2009 he has been playing in the Belgian national U-17 team. The 1.80 meter tall player started his active career in 1999 – but initially in a provincial club. He quickly became one of the hottest young Belgian talents on the football field. In his hometown club Germinal Beerschot, he also excelled as captain, who led various youth teams. So far, however, he has given big European clubs like Real Madrid a basket.

Xenia Smits (born 1994)
handball player. Xenia Smits was born in Antwerp in 1994, is 1.83 and was named handball talent of the year in 2013. From 2008 Smits has professionalized her craft in the German handball performance center in Bad Wildungen. At the end of November 2014, she made her debut in the German national team against the Romanian team. Smits’ place on the field is in the left back space. She has also played in European championships.

Antwerp, Belgium Famous People
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