Johannes Marten den Uijl, better known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch: [ˈjoːb dɛn ˈœyl] (listen); 9 August 1919 – 24 December 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) and economist who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977.
Den Uyl studied Economics at the University of Amsterdam obtaining a Master of Economics degree and worked as a civil servant at the Ministry of Economic Affairs from February 1942 until May 1945 and as a journalist and editor for Het Parool and Vrij Nederland from May 1945 until January 1949. Den Uyl served as director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation from January 1949 until June 1963. Den Uyl became a Member of the House of Representatives shortly after the number of seats was raised from 100 to 150 seats following the election of 1956 serving from 6 November 1956 until 5 June 1963 as a frontbencher and spokesperson for Economics. Den Uyl was appointed as Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cals Cabinet, taking office on 14 April 1965. After Labour Leader Anne Vondeling unexpectedly announced he was stepping down, Den Uyl announced his candidacy and was selected as his successor as Leader on 13 September 1966. In the election of 1967 Den Uyl served as Lijsttrekker (top candidate) and became Parliamentary leader, taking office on 23 February 1967. In the election of 1972 Den Uyl again served as Lijsttrekker and after a long cabinet formation formed the Den Uyl Cabinet and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, taking office on 11 May 1973.
The Cabinet collapsed on 22 March 1977 following years of tensions in the ruling coalition. During the election of 1977 Den Uyl served as Lijsttrekker but following a difficult cabinet formation failed to create a new coalition. Den Uyl left office following the installation of the First Van Agt Cabinet on 19 December 1977 but continued to serve in the House of Representatives as Parliamentary leader. For the election of 1981 Den Uyl again served as Lijsttrekker and following a cabinet formation with his successor- the leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal, Dries van Agt– formed the Second Van Agt Cabinet with Den Uyl appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, taking office on 11 September 1981. The cabinet fell just seven months into its term and was replaced with the caretaker Third Van Agt Cabinet, with Den Uyl resigning on 29 May 1982. For the election of 1982 Den Uyl again served as Lijsttrekker and returned to the House of Representatives as Parliamentary leader, taking office on 16 September 1982. For the election of 1986 Den Uyl once again served as Lijsttrekker but shortly thereafter announced he was stepping down as Leader on 21 July 1986 and endorsed former trade union leader Wim Kok as his successor though continued to serve in the House of Representatives as a backbencher. In October 1987 Den Uyl was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and died just three months later at the age of 68.
Den Uyl was known for his abilities as a skillful debater and as an idealistic and determined leader. During his premiership, his cabinet were responsible for major social reforms and dealing with several major crises such as the 1973 oil crisis, the Lockheed scandal, Moluccans incidents and the fallout of the Yom Kippur War. He holds the distinction as leading the most left-wing Dutch cabinet, and his premiership is seen as divisive with both scholars and the public, from considering him to have been average to him having been one of the best Prime Ministers since World War II.