Jump to content

Gerard Philips

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerard Philips
Portrait of Gerard Philips
Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips

(1858-10-09)9 October 1858
Zaltbommel, Netherlands
Died26 January 1942(1942-01-26) (aged 83)
The Hague, Netherlands
Alma materDelft University of Technology
Known forFounding Philips
SpouseJohanna van der Willigen
RelativesPhilips family

Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips (9 October 1858 – 26 January 1942) was a Dutch industrialist and co-founder, with his father Frederik Philips, of Philips as a family business in 1891. In 1912, Gerard and his younger brother Anton Philips converted the business to a corporation by founding NV Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken.

Career and family[edit]

Born to a Dutch family of Jewish heritage, his father Benjamin Frederik David Philips was a first cousin to Karl Marx (Gerard's paternal grandmother Sophie Pressburg was a sister of Henriette Pressburg, the mother of Karl Marx).[1] His mother was Maria Heyligers. His grandfather was tobacco merchant Lion Philips.

Gerard Philips became interested in electronics and engineering. His father Frederik financed Gerard's purchase of the old factory building in Eindhoven where he established the first factory in 1891. With his brother he came up with a plan: cost effective, reliable incandescent light bulbs.[2] They initially operated the Philips Company as a family business, with Gerard's younger brother Anton and Anton's son Frits Philips and son-in-law Frans Otten later brought into the business.[3]

On 19 March 1896, Philips married Johanna van der Willigen (30 September 1862 – 1942). They had no children.

Civic activities[edit]

Gerard and his brother Anton supported education and social initiatives in Eindhoven, including the Philips Sport Vereniging (Philips Sports Association), which they founded. From it the professional football department developed into the independent Philips Sport Vereniging N.V.


  1. ^ Francis Wheen, Karl Marx: A Life, page 159, (Fourth Estate, 1999), ISBN 1-85702-637-3
  2. ^ "Our history". Philips. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  3. ^ Koopmans, Joop W, and A H. Huussen. Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2007 p.176

External links[edit]