Daniël George van Beuningen

Daniël George van Beuningen (4 March 1877, Utrecht, – 29 May 1955, Arlesheim) was a Dutch businessman who became iconic for the city of Rotterdam.

Van Beuningen

DG (as he was generally known[1]) was born in Utrecht. He was the son of Hendrik Adriaan van Beuningen, and an English woman, Anna Lavenia Brain of Kelmscott.[2] However, he made his reputation in Rotterdam where he focused on the economic transformation of the port of that city, which became one of the largest port in the world in those days. He was a well known celebrity not only in the city itself, but also across the Netherlands and further afield.

His father was co-founder of the Steenkolen Handels Vereniging, which became big during the World War I supplying both the English and German armies with coal. Daniël was involved as a prominent member of the Dutch Coal Trade Union, an organisation which represented the Rhenish-Westphalian Coal Syndicate in the Netherlands. He started shipping German coal to Rotterdam to compete with coal imported from England. This involved the choice of barges rather than railway wagons to ship coal and led to major advances in the mechanical handling of coal.[3] Van Beuningen went on to lead a large number of companies in the port of Rotterdam and after the war he owned most of these companies and he became also active in the society. In 1937 he was one of the co-financial partners of the newly built Stadion Feijenoord, buying the ground where the stadium was built and was one of the founders for the Harbour Hospital in the city. During the World War II in 1941 he resigned. In 1954, several months before his death in Arlesheim, Switzerland the Van Beuningen family was forced to withdraw completely out of the SHV Holdings as there was no replaceable family member to become director.

Bust of Van Beuningen in Rotterdam

Van Beuningen was a collector of art from the 15th and 16th century out of the northern and southern parts of the Netherlands. During his life he gave several of his collections away to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. During his life he married a total of three times. His first marriage was with Mies Schout Velthuys, but due to his hard work they hardly saw each other. She died in 1926 aged 43. A short second marriage to Odette Paule Fernande Ragoulleau ended up in a divorce. In 1938 he married for the third time, this time to Bep Charlouis.

His great nephew Baron Willem van Dedem (1929-2015) was also a noted art collector.[4]


  1. ^ Lichtenauer, W.F. (12 November 2013). "BEUNINGEN, Daniel George van (1877-1955)". resources.huygens.knaw.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  2. ^ Oyen, J.A.Q.M. Smits van. "Anna Lavenia BRAIN (1847-1943) » Stamboom Smits van Oyen » Genealogie Online". Genealogie Online (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  3. ^ Loyen, Reginald; Buyst, Erik; Devos, Greta (2012). Struggling for Leadership: Antwerp-Rotterdam Port Competition between 1870 –2000. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783642574856. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. ^ Hall, Michael (30 November 2015). "Willem Baron van Dedem (1929–2015)". Apollo Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2016.

External linksEdit

  • Biography at Biographical Dictionary Netherlands