Jacob Gelt Dekker

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Jacob Gelt Dekker (born April 22, 1948 in Oterleek ; † September 1, 2019 in Key West , Florida ) was a Dutch entrepreneur , philanthropist and author .


Jacob Gelt Dekker was born the son of an Amsterdam man who married the daughter of a farmer with whom he went into hiding during the Second World War. Dekker went to school in Alkmaar from 1961 to 1967 before studying dentistry in Amsterdam . It made friends with Gerard Spong . After graduating in 1973, he started his own business as a dentist. After diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1978, he stopped practicing dentistry in 1981 and did his MBA at the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam and the University of Rochester .

In 1980 he founded the Dutch fitness centers Splash and photo service chains such as KwikFit and One Hour Super Photo , which he later sold to Kodak . In 1981 he took over Holland Car Leasing / franchise Budget Rent a Car and expanded it with his business partner John Padget to create a chain of car rental companies in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Finland, before selling them to UBS in 1995 .

From 2000 Dekker bought and rented parts of the historic Otrabanda district in Willemstad , the capital of the Caribbean island of Curaçao . Here he created the Kura Hulanda Museum with an extensive collection relating to the transatlantic slave trade . In 2001 he took over the Hotel Porto Paseo and converted it into the five-star hotel Kura Hulanda . Dekker also took over the Kadushi Cliff Resort in the Netherlands Antilles and renamed it Kura Holanda Lodge . After arguments with local politics, which he accused of “corruption, crime and stupidity”, he was declared a “persona non grata”, but ultimately to no avail.

Dekker wrote columns, novels and travel books as well as a children's book, mainly for the Amsterdam Publishers. The publisher describes Dekker in an obituary on their website:

"Dutch author, dentist by trade, businessman, multi-millionaire, serial entrepreneur, world traveler, philanthropist, visionary, independent mind, gifted narrator, source of inspiration, uomo universale, cancer fighter, ecologist, optimist, charismatic, eternal student, disciplined , fearless, a man with a mission. A most remarkable man who gave color to life. Jacob will be sadly missed. "

- Amsterdam Publishers

He supported the ChildRight Foundation , which was established in 1993 by the publishing house Theo Knippenberg and Nobel Prize winner Nikolaas Tinbergen for the rights of the child. In 1995 hundreds of Nobel Prize winners and politicians signed an appeal to end child exploitation. Dekker was a member of the foundation's supervisory board until 2007.

His fortune was estimated by Quote-500 at 200 million euros. Dekker lived in Amsterdam, New York and Curaçao (Westpunt) during his life and died at his home in Key West, Florida. He was unmarried and died of lymph node cancer.



Kindle editions

  • together with Louise van der Steen (editor): Oorlogskinderen , de Rode Kamer 2015 (Kindle)
  • The Caribbean , Amsterdam Publishers 2018 (Kindle)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Zakenman en filantroop Jacob Gelt Dekker (71) overleden. In: NOS.nl . September 1, 2019, accessed September 2, 2019 (Dutch).
  2. a b Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jacob Gelt Dekker has passed away. In: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, NiederlandeNet - Center for Dutch Studies. September 2, 2019, accessed September 6, 2019 .
  3. Marleen Zachte: Jacob Gelt Dekker stapt uit Childright. In: quota. July 22, 2008, accessed September 6, 2019 (Dutch).
  4. Pieter Kolstee: In Memoriam: Jacob Gelt Dekker (1948-2019). In: quota. September 2, 2019, accessed September 6, 2019 (Dutch).