30 most influential people from Rotterdam


As the second largest city in the Netherlands and the one of the busiest ports in the world, Rotterdam is seen as vastly important to far more than just its population of just over 600,000.


Contact Rem KoolhasLocated in the province of South Holland to the west of the country, it is a city known for its cutting edge architecture, its artistic influences and its sport, with architect Rem Koolhaas responsible for many of the city’s iconic new buildings, and named in Time magazine’s top 100 of The World’s Most Influential People in 2008.


Influential artists Arthur Benjamins and Willem van Veldhuizen also come from the city, as do renowned composers Michiel van den Bos and Jan Mulder. Musical talent doesn’t end there though, with rapper U-Niq, singer Gerard Cox and DJ and producer Ferry Corsten – also known as System F – calling the city home.


Successful Dutch comedians Andre van Duin and Paul de Leeuw are also from Rotterdam, but it is in the world of sport where the port city really excels.


Contact Robin van PersiePerhaps the most notable Rotterdammer is the Arsenal and Netherlands footballer Robin van Persie, who is the top goalscorer in the English Premier League for the 2011/12 season as is widely regarded as one of the greatest forwards of the modern game.


Like the Everton midfielder Royston Drenthe, Van Persie used to play for the Rotterdam club Feyenoord, who have had many top players feature in their team in the past including Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Dirk Kuyt and Salomon Kalou. The team is currently managed by Dutch legend Ronald Koeman, and the chairman is Dick van Well.


Former managers Leo Beenhakker and Wim Jansen are widely respected in the game of football, but that is perhaps not the case with former player and fellow ‘Rotterdammer’ Winston Bogarde, who become most famous for taking huge amounts of money from English club Chelsea whilst barely playing a match. The current DC United assistant manager Sonny Silooy enjoys a better reputation.


Contact Robert EenhoornEx-tennis players Betty Stöve and Richard Krajicek – the 1996 Wimbledon champion – also come from Rotterdam, as do baseball player Robert Eenhoorn, basketball star Francisco Elson and former Formula 1 racing driver Robert Doornbos.


Politicians Neelie Kroes, Ronald Sorensen, Jan Marijnissen and WouterBos – these days a powerful management consultant – all have Rotterdam links also.


By Mark Jones


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