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de Hartog, Jan
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Jan de Hartog was born April 22, 1914 in Haarlem, Netherlands. He ran away as a young teenager and took jobs on fishing boats, as a coal shoveler, and as a tour boat captain. He wrote in his spare time, published a series of mystery novels, and started a career in theater in the late 1930s.
In May 1940, ten days before Germany invaded, de Hartog published Holland’s Glory, a novel about ocean-going tugboat captains. The book was not political but because of the title and thoroughly-Dutch subject it became a bestseller and drew the attention of the Gestapo. De Hartog had already joined the Dutch resistance movement and had to flee to England, where he continued resistance work alongside like-minded British. He eventually became a pacifist and joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). His years in England introduced his work to English-language audiences and he produced several successful books and plays.
De Hartog moved to the United States in the late 1950s and married his third wife, Marjorie Hein. In the early 1960s, the de Hartogs and others became aware of the poor conditions at Jefferson Davis Hospital and the ongoing dispute over whether the city or county was responsible for its funding. The expose The Hospital spurred the formation of the Harris County Hospital District (now Harris Health System).
De Hartog died September 22, 2002, in Houston. He and Marjorie were long-time members of Houston’ Live Oak Friends Meeting. This VHS was donated by the Drexler family, who were also members of LOFM; their daughter Alethea was an assistant at the John P. McGovern Historical Collections at the Texas Medical Center Library.