Pim Fortuyn

Dutch politician (1948-2002)

Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn, known as Pim Fortuyn (pronounced [pɪm fɔʁtœʏn], 19 February 1948 – 6 May 2002) was a Dutch sociologist and politician. Born in Driehuis, he was the leader of the LPF (Lijst Pim Fortuyn), a right-wing political party.[1] He was very popular and was expected to win the 2002 elections. Fortuyn did not agree with some things the religion of Islam does, and did not want to let criminal Muslims from other countries come to the Netherlands. He was Roman Catholic and openly gay.[2]

Pim Fortuyn
Pim Fortuyn on 4 May 2002, two days before his murder (Photo: Roy Beusker)
Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn

(1948-02-19)19 February 1948
Driehuis, Netherlands
Died6 May 2002(2002-05-06) (aged 54)
Hilversum, Netherlands
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
Resting placeSan Giorgio della Richinvelda, Italy
Other namesPim Fortuijn
Alma materVU University Amsterdam (Bachelor of Social Science, Master of Social Science)
University of Groningen (Doctor of Philosophy)
Occupation(s)Politician · Civil servant · Sociologist
Corporate director · Political consultant · Political pundit · Author · Columnist · Publisher · Teacher · Professor
Political partyLabour Party (1974–1989)
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (mid 1990s)
Livable Netherlands (2001–2002)
Livable Rotterdam (2001–2002)
Pim Fortuyn List (2002)

Nine days before the elections, he was shot and killed during the 2002 Dutch national election campaign[3][4][5] by Volkert van der Graaf, who is an extreme environmentalist and animal rights activist.[6] In court at his trial, van der Graaf said he murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak members of society" in seeking political power.[7][8][9]

Early life and education


Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn was born on 19 February 1948 in Driehuis, as the third child to a Catholic family. His father worked as a salesman and his mother was a housewife. In 1967 he began to study sociology at the University of Amsterdam but transferred after a few months to the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 1971 he ended his study with the Academic degree Doctorandus. In 1981 he received a doctorate in sociology at the University of Groningen as a Doctor of Philosophy.

On May 6, 2002, Fortuyn was shot in the head, neck and chest in a car park outside a radio studio where he had just given an interview to Ruud de Wild at 3FM by 32-year-old, Volkert van der Graaf. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The attacker was pursued by Fortuyn's driver, Hans Smolders; he was arrested shortly afterwards while still in possession of the handgun used to kill Fortuyn.



  1. Margry, Peter Jan: The Murder of Pim Fortuyn and Collective Emotions. Hype, Hysteria, and Holiness in the Netherlands? published in the Dutch magazine Etnofoor: Antropologisch tijdschrift nr. 16 pages 106–131, 2003,English version available online
  2. Fortuyn to lie in cathedral
  3. Simons, Marlise (7 May 2002). "Rightist Candidate in Netherlands Is Slain, and the Nation Is Stunned". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  4. James, Barry (7 May 2002). "Assailant shoots gay who railed against Muslim immigrants: Rightist in Dutch election is murdered". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  5. Simons, Marlise (8 May 2002). "Elections to Proceed in the Netherlands, Despite Killing". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  6. The Daily Telegraph (29 March 2003). "Killer tells court Fortuyn was dangerous". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  7. Fortuyn killed 'to protect Muslims', The Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2003:
    [van der Graaf] said his goal was to stop Mr. Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" to try to gain political power.
  8. Fortuyn killer 'acted for Muslims', CNN, 27 March 2003:
    Van der Graaf, 33, said during his first court appearance in Amsterdam on Thursday that Fortuyn was using "the weakest parts of society to score points" and gain political power.
  9. "Jihad Vegan". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Dr Janet Parker 20 June 2005, New Criminologist.

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