Hendrik Willem van Loon was born on January 14th in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1882. He came to the United States in 1902.
Van Loon was a newspaper correspondent in Russia during the revolution of 1905, in several European countries in 1906, and also during World War I. During World War II he wrote and broadcasted for the United States and the Netherlands. Van Loon was recognized as an American historian, biographer, journalist, and lecturer.
In 1922 he won the first Newbery Medal for The Story of Mankind. He wrote and illustrated many other books for children, and they were equally popular with adults. They include Ancient Man (1920); The Story of the Bible (1923); Tolerance (1925); America (1927); Van Loon’s Geography (1932); Ships (1935); The Arts (1937); Van Loon’s Lives (1942); and Thomas Jefferson (1943).
Hendrik Willem van Loon died in 1944.