Hendrik Willem van Loon (1882-1944) was a Dutch-American historian and journalist. He went to the United States in 1903 to study at Cornell University. He was a correspondent during the Russian Revolution of 1905 and in Belgium in 1914 at the start of World War I. He later became a professor of history at Cornell University (1915-17) and in 1919 became an American citizen. During the 1920s van Loon wrote many books and went on to write very popular books aimed at young adults. As a writer he was known for emphasizing crucial historical events and giving a complete picture of individual characters, as well as the role of the arts in history.