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Leo Vroman
Leo Vroman in 1983

Leo Vroman (April 10, 1915 – February 22, 2014) was a Dutch-American hematologist, a prolific poet mainly in Dutch and an illustrator.

Life and work

Vroman, who was Jewish, was born in Gouda and studied biology in Utrecht. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, he fled to London, and from there he traveled to the Dutch East Indies. He finished his studies in Batavia. After the Japanese occupied Indonesia he was interned and stayed in several prisoner-of-war camps. In the camp Tjimahi he befriended the authors Tjalie Robinson and Rob Nieuwenhuys.

His uncle was the physician and medical researcher Isidore Snapper, who worked in New York City after emigrating from the Netherlands. (The mathematician Ernst Snapper was Vroman;s cousin.) After the war, Vroman went to the United States to work in New York as a hematology researcher. He gained American citizenship and lived in Fort Worth until his death in 2014, aged 98.

In 1946, he published his first poems in the Netherlands, and since then has won almost every Dutch literary poetry prize possible. In 1970 Vroman was awarded the Individual Science Award by Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. In 2003, his former high school, de Goudse ScholenGemeenschap (GSG), changed its name into de Goudse ScholenGemeenschap Leo Vroman (GSG Leo Vroman).

He was engaged to Georgine Marie Sanders from May 1940 until their marriage in September 1947. They had two daughters.


Leiden - Plantsoen with poem of Leo Vrooman
Poem In 14 boeken as a wall poem in Leiden
Leo Vroman. Kunstwerk van Jeroen Henneman
Portrait of Leo Vroman in Gouda (the Netherlands)

In English

  • Poems in English (1953)
  • Just one more world (poems and photographs) (1976)
  • Love, greatly enlarged (1992)

Scientific work


  • Surface contact and thromboplastin formation (PhD Thesis, University of Utrecht) (1958).
  • Blood, Garden City, N.Y. : Published for the American Museum of Natural History, Natural History Press, 1967.
  • with Edward F Leonard: The Behavior of blood and its components at interfaces, Columbia University Seminar on Biomaterials, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, 1977. Vol. 283 in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • with Edward F Leonard and Vincent T Turitto: Blood in contact with natural and artificial surfaces, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, N.Y., 1987. Vol. 516 in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

See also

  • Vroman effect
Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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