Writers

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Jan de Hartog

1914-2002

Jan de Hartog (1914 – 2002) was a Dutch playwright, novelist and occasional social critic who moved to the United States in the early 1960s and became a Quaker. Jan de Hartog was born in Haarlem, Netherlands to academics Lucretia and Arnold Hendrik de Hartog. Jan was young when Lucretia contracted tuberculosis and the boy was sent to stay in an orphanage. Jan de Hartog then went on to study at the Amsterdam Naval College (1930-1931), after which he worked for the Amsterdam Harbor Police. de Hartog began writing and publishing stories in 1934, mainly detective stories. He later added writing plays to his skills and in 1939 his first play was produced at the Amsterdam Municipal Theatre. hroughout his life de Hartog did volunteer work, including at the Jefferson Davis County Hospital in Houston, Texas about which he wrote in The Hospital. Jan de Hartog wrote more than 22 books (some adapted for films) and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the University of Houston in 1993.