Hendrik Willem van Loon (January 14, 1882 – March 11, 1944) was a Dutch-American historian and journalist.
Born in Rotterdam, he went to the United States in 1903 to study at Cornell University. He was a correspondent during the Russian Revolution of 1905 and in Belgium in 1914 at the start of World War I. He later became a professor of history at Cornell University (1915-17) and in 1919 became an American citizen.
From the 1910s until his death, Van Loon wrote many books. Most widely known among these is The Story of Mankind, a history of the world especially for children, which won the first Newbery Medal in 1922. The book was later updated by Van Loon and has continued to be updated, first by his son and later by other historians.
However, he also wrote many other very popular books aimed at young adults. As a writer he was known for emphasizing crucial historical events and giving a complete picture of individual characters, as well as the role of the arts in history. He also had an informal style which, particularly in The Story of Mankind, included personal anecdotes.