About Frederik Jacques Philips
Frederik Jacques "Frits" Philips (Eindhoven, the Netherlands, April 16, 1905 – Eindhoven, December 5, 2005) was the fourth chairman of the board of directors of Dutch electronics company Philips.
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Frits Philips was born in the city of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands. He was the only son of Anton Philips and wife Anne Henriëtte Elisabeth Maria de Jongh, as well as the nephew of Gerard Philips. Frits had one older sister named Annetje and a younger sister named Jettie. In 1923, he started his studies at the Delft University of Technology; he received an engineer's degree in mechanical engineering in 1929. On July 4, 1929 in The Hague, he married Sylvia, Jonkheerin van Lennep (The Hague, December 16, 1905 – Eindhoven, August 29, 1992), daughter of ..., Jonkheer van Lennep (Wiesbaden, October 3, 1876 – The Hague, September 13, 1951), and wife Digna Jacoba Mijer (b. Batavia, March 28, 1883). The couple had 7 children: Digna (b. September 14, 1930), Anton Frederik (b. March 12, 1932), Anne Jetje (Annejet) (b. October 14, 1933), Sylvia (b. December 6, 1936), Warner, Frits (who married and had Warner (b. October 3, 1969) and Frits) and Maria. On October 18, 1935 he was appointed vice-director and member of the board of Philips.
During the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany in World War II, Frans Otten and Anton Philips, the other managers in the company, fled to the United States. Frits, however, stayed in the Netherlands. From May 30 until September 20, 1943, he was held in the concentration camp Vught because of a strike at the Philips factory.
During the occupation, Frits saved the lives of 382 Jews by indicating to the Nazis that they were indispensable for the production process at Philips. In 1996, he was awarded the Yad Vashem reward by the Israeli ambassador for his actions[dead link].
In 1961, he succeeded Frans Otten as president of Philips. He kept the position for 10 years; in 1971 he was succeeded by Henk van Riemsdijk.
At the age of 100, on December 5, 2005, he died from complications resulting from a fall in November[dead link].
A picture of Frits Philips in the Lichtjesroute of 2005, to celebrate his hundredth birthday.
Frits Philips was immensely popular in Eindhoven. The citizens of Eindhoven commonly referred to him as "Meneer Frits" (Mister Frits) [dead link]
Frits made no class difference between factory workers and members of the board of directors: he was often seen chatting to the factory workers, which contributed to his popularity.
His hundredth birthday in 2005 was celebrated on a large scale in his home city of Eindhoven, which was renamed Frits Philips Stad (Frits Philips City) for the occasion. For this occasion a special coin was minted which bears the nickname "Fritske". The yearly Lichtjesroute event also honoured him that year, by placing a framework with a picture of him in the route (see right).
Even at the age of 100, Frits Philips frequently visited the home football matches of PSV. Frits didn't use the stadium's business lounge, instead he sat in the crowd — section D, row 22, seat 43. The administration of PSV has announced that this seat will remain empty as a memorial for their faithful supporter. The night he died supporters paid their tribute in a minute's silence for their "Mr. Frits" prior to the match (PSV-Fenerbahçe 2-0, 6-12-2005)
In 1966 the company Philips celebrated its 75th anniversary. For this occasion, Frits Philips wanted to give the people a beautiful and educational gift. The result was a building named Evoluon, based on a sketch Frits made on a paper napkin. The Evoluon was an educational centre for science and technology.
In 1989 the Evoluon was closed for public and converted to a conference centre, much to the regret of Frits. In the last years of his life, Frits Philips tried to raise interest to restore the Evoluon in its former glory and to give the building back to the people of Eindhoven.
Awards and honours
Frits Philips has received many honorary titles and awards during his life. In 1965 he received honorary citizenship of the city of Eindhoven for his "exceptional contributions to the welfare of the citizens of Eindhoven". Also in 1965, Frits was included in the Dutch royal ranks of Orange Nassau (rank of commander). In 1970 he was knighted as Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He has also received honorary titles in many countries, including Japan, Spain, Denmark and China. See Archive copy at the Internet Archive for a complete list of honours and decorations.
On the occasion of his 90th birthday in 1995, the Muziekcentrum Frits Philips (Frits Philips Music Hall) was named after him. In 1996, he was honoured as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem, for saving the lives of 382 Jewish employees of Philips. In 1999, he was named "Dutch entrepreneur of the century"[dead link]
* "Frits Philips celebrates 100th birthday"[dead link], Philips Newscenter, April 15, 2005
* "Frits Philips (100) overleden"[dead link], Trouw, December 6, 2005
* "Frits Philips overleden"[dead link], Volkskrant, December 6, 2005
* "Dossier Frits Philips 100 jaar"[dead link], Eindhovens Dagblad, April 2005
* "Frits Philips rewards and decorations"". Archived from the original on 2005-04-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20050418115807/http://www.fritsphilips100.nl/onderscheid.htm.
* "Frits Philips" - This obituary first appeared in The Independent, UK , on 7 December 2005.
Frits Philips's Timeline
April 16, 1905
Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands
July 4, 1929
Den Haag, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
December 6, 1936
Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
December 5, 2005
Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands