Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd was prime minister of South Africa from 2 September 1958 to 6 September 1966 and is considered Apartheid's chief architect. Although born in the Netherlands, he arrived in South Africa in December 1901, six months before the end of the Anglo-Boer War. Verwoerd was Professor of Psychology (and Sociology and Social Work) at the Stellenbosch University prior to joining DF Malan's breakaway Gesuiwerde Nationale Party (GNP, Purified National Party) in 1934.
When Malan's National Party won the election in 1948, Verwoerd became a Senator and was appointed Minister of Native Affairs two years later. He promoted the development of Bantustans and the tightening of influx controls. In 1958 he took over form JG Strijdom as prime minister (who died in power), rejecting calls from the Commonwealth of Nations to reform the country's Apartheid policies, and declared South Africa a republic in 1961.
Having survived one assassination attempt at the Rand Easter Show in 1960, Verwoerd was stabbed to death on 6 September 1966 by Dimitri Tsafendas, a (white) parliamentary messenger.