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Philips (family)

CountryFlag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Founded18th century
FounderPhilip Philips

Philips is the name of Dutch Patrician family, known for founding the Philips Electronics company.


The first known member of the family is one Philip Philips, a Jewish merchant born about 1710 who came to the Netherlands from North Rhine-Westphalia and was married to Rebecca van Crefelt.[1] His son Benjamin Philips (1767 - Zaltbommel) built a fortune selling tobacco. Benjamin's son, Lion (1794-1866) was married to Sophie Pressburg, an aunt of Karl Marx; Sophie's sister was Karl Marx's mother, Henriette Pressburg. Benjamin, Lion and their respective families converted to Christianity in 1826. Lion's daughter, Antoinette "Nannette" (or Netchen) Leonore Jeannette Roodhuijzen was the addressee of many of her cousin Karl Marx's letters (e.g.[2]) and later, a member of the Dutch section of the International.[3]

Lion's son Frederik Philips was a merchant banker who financed the setting up of the Philips lighting company which was run by his son Gerard Philips. After a few years Gerard was joined by his younger brother Anton Philips who revolutionised the fortunes of the company. Anton was succeeded by his son-in-law Frans Otten who was married to Anton's eldest daughter. After the outbreak of war in 1940, Anton fled to England in a company armoured payroll van along with Princess Juliana and several other members of the Dutch Royal Family. Frans Otten also spent the war in exile. Anton's only son Frits Philips remained in Holland during the German occupation in order to protect its employees – some of whom were Jewish – and also prevent the company from being used to manufacture arms for the Nazis. Frits later succeeded his brother-in-law Frans Otten as head of Philips. When Frits retired his place was taken by his other brother-in-law Henk van Riemsdijk. It was rumoured that Frits continued to help run the company after his official retirement.

Frans Otten jnr. and Warner Philips jnr., great grandsons of two former CEOs, co-founded a new lighting company (Lemnis) which has no connection with the Philips company and is not allowed to use the Philips name. According to former economist and family historian Warner Philips, no current member of the family has any business connection with the company, any shares which were once owned by the family were sold long ago to finance expansion.[4]

Notable members

Son of Lion and Sophie Philips:

Sons of Frederik Philips:

Sons of Anton Philips:

  • Frans Otten (1895–1969), son-in-law of Anton. CEO of Philips Electronics 1939–61
  • Frits Philips (1905–2005), a director of Philips Electronics from 1935. CEO 1961–71
  • Henk van Riemsdijk [nl] (1911–2005), son-in-law of Anton. CEO of Philips 1971–77



  1. ^ "Philip Philips (born c 1710) - Genealogy". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ []
  3. ^ Marxists Internet Archive. Karl Marx’s 'Confession', Zaltbommel April 1865. Accessed: 2 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Warner Philips - Dé stadsglossy voor Eindhoven & Helmond". Dé stadsglossy voor Eindhoven & Helmond | (in Dutch). 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2017-12-01.