Van Leeuwenhoek is famous for the microscopes he created and for the discoveries he made with them. Leeuwenhoek discovered "little animals", at our time known as protozoa and bacteria. He also made visible the microscopic structures of plants and was the first to see human sperm cells.
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek was born on October 24th in 1632 in the city of Delft, in The Netherlands. He lived in a family of tradesman and he became a textile-trader. Although his education was poor, he was very much interested in science and he learned himself a lot about mathematics and biology. However, he did not publish a lot nor did he discuss about his discoveries. He was very humble, because he had never followed an official scientific education. He also was very poor in language, so it was very hard for him to write official documents about his observations.
After his death in 1723 Van Leeuwenhoek's collection of microscopes counted more than 500.
His discoveries were subject of large discussions. Many scientists believed that Van Leeuwenhoek was no more than a charlatan. But after years they had to admit that his discoveries were real. At old age he was a well respected scientist.
This text has been written by Nick Hoebe.