Hendrik Willem van Loon

Hendrik Willem van Loon (January 14, 1882 – March 11, 1944) was a Dutch-American historian, journalist, and award-winning children’s book author.

He was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the son of Hendrik Willem van Loon[1] and Elisabeth Johanna Hanken.[2] He went to the United States in 1902 to study at Cornell University, receiving his degree in 1905. In 1906 he married Eliza Ingersoll Bowditch, daughter of a Harvard professor, by whom he had two sons, Henry Bowditch and Gerard Willem. The newlyweds moved to Germany, where van Loon received his Ph.D. from the University of Munich in 1911 with a dissertation that became his first book, The Fall of the Dutch Republic (1913). He was a correspondent for the Associated Press during the Russian Revolution of 1905 and again in Belgium in 1914 at the start of World War I. He lectured at Cornell University from 1915 to 1917; in 1919 he became an American citizen.

Van Loon had two later marriages, to Eliza Helen (Jimmie) Criswell in 1920 and playwright Frances Goodrich Ames in 1927, but after a divorce from Ames, he returned to Criswell (it is debatable whether or not they remarried) who inherited his estate in 1944 (from Wikipedia).