Herman van Roijen
Herman van Roijen c. 1940s
Dutch Ambassador to the United States
In office
19 September 1950 – 1964
PresidentHarry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
Prime MinisterWillem Drees
Preceded byEelco van Kleffens
Succeeded byCarl Willem Alwin Schurmann
Personal details
Born(1905-04-10)10 April 1905
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died16 March 1991(1991-03-16) (aged 85)
Wassenaar, South Holland
Spouse(s)Anne Snouck Hurgronje
ParentsJan Herman van Roijen Sr
Albertina Taylor Winthrop
Alma materUniversity of Utrecht

Jan Herman van Roijen (10 April 1905 – 16 March 1991) was a Dutch diplomat and politician.[1] He was Dutch foreign minister in 1946.[2]

Early life

Van Roijen was born in Constantinople on 10 April 1905. He was the son of Jan Herman van Roijen Sr (1871–1933) and the American-born Albertina Taylor Winthrop (1871–1934), who married in May 1904.[3] When he was born, his father was a diplomat in Constantinople.[1]

His maternal grandparents were banker Robert Winthrop and the former Kate Wilson Taylor (a daughter of Moses Taylor, a prominent railroad financier who served as president of National City Bank). Among his maternal family was uncle Beekman Winthrop, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Taft Administration, and aunt Katharine Taylor Winthrop, the wife of U.S. Senator Hamilton Fish Kean.[4]

He received a Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht.[1]


Receiving the Wateler Peace Prize, 1984.
Receiving the Wateler Peace Prize, 1984.
Van Roijen receiving the Freedom from Fear Award, 1982.
Van Roijen receiving the Freedom from Fear Award, 1982.

Van Roijen's diplomatic career began in the 1930s when he joined the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1930 and was an attache in Washington for three years. He also held positions in embassies in Tokyo as well as positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hague.[2] In 1939, he was named head of the political division at the ministry.[1]

Following the war, he represented the Netherlands at various conferences linked to the nascent United Nations, including the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco.[1][2]

After his brief stint as the Dutch foreign minister, he was the ambassador to Canada (1947–1950), to the United States (1950–1964),[5] and jointly to the United Kingdom and to Iceland (1964–1970).[1]


In 1982 he received the inaugural Freedom from Fear Award and in 1984 he received the Wateler Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts.[2]

He received an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law from The University of Toledo on June 8, 1957.

Personal life

Van Roijen, his wife Anne, and Minister Logeman, 23 February 1946.
Van Roijen, his wife Anne, and Minister Logeman, 23 February 1946.

Van Roijen was married to Anne Snouck Hurgronje, a daughter of Aarnout Marinus Snouck Hurgronje. Together, they were the parents of two sons, Jan Herman and Willem, and two daughters, Tina van Notten and Digna van Karnebeek.[1] While in America, they owned a 300-acre farm in Warrenton, Virginia.[5]

He died, aged eighty-five, on 16 March 1991 at Wassenaar in South Holland.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jan H. van Roijen, 85, Former Envoy to U.S." The New York Times. March 20, 1991. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr. J.H. (Herman) van Roijen". Parlement & Politiek (in Dutch). Parlementair Documentatie Centrum. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ "WEDDINGS OF A DAY; Van Roijen -- Winthrop" (PDF). The New York Times. 18 May 1904. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  4. ^ "MRS. WINTHROP LEFT $13,495,493 ESTATE; Other Millions, Distributed After Death of Banker's Widow, Omitted From Appraisal" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 December 1927. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Dutch Envoy Gets Warm Goodby After 13 Years in Post in U.S.; Van Roijen's Sincerity Made Him a Favorite Despite His Country's Position" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 March 1964. Retrieved 23 September 2019.