National Party Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination on 6 September 1966, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd was the chief architect of "Grand Apartheid", which called for the separation of races in South Africa.
Date of birth: 8 September 1901, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Date of death: 6 September 1966, Cape Town, South Africa
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd was born to Anje Strik and Wilhelmus Johannes Verwoerd in the Netherlands on 8 September 1901, and the family moved to South Africa when he was barely three months old.
They arrived in the Transvaal in December 1901, just six months before the end of the second Anglo-Boer War. Verwoerd proved to be a outstanding scholar, matriculating from school in 1919 and attending the Afrikaans university at Stellenbosch (in the Cape). He enrolled initially to study theology, but soon changed to psychology and philosophy -- obtaining a masters and then a doctorate in philosophy.
After a brief sojourn to Germany in 1925-26, where he attended the universities in Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig, and trips to Britain and the US, he returned to South Africa. In 1927 he was given the post of Professor of Applied Psychology, moving to the chair of Sociology and Social Work in 1933. Whilst at Stellenbosch he organized a national conference on the "poor white" problem in South Africa.
In 1937 Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd became the founding editor of the new Afrikaans nationalist daily newspaper Die Transvaler, based in Johannesburg.
He came to the attention of leading Afrikaans politicians, such as DF Malan, and was given the opportunity to help rebuild the National Party in the Transvaal. When Malan"s National Party won the general election in 1948, Verwoerd was made a senator. In 1950 Malan appointed Verwoerd as Minister of Native Affairs, where he became responsible for creating much of the era"s Apartheid legislation.
Verwoerd developed, and began to implement, the Apartheid policies which relegated South Africa"s Black population to "traditional" homelands, or