Willem (Wim) Kok was born in Bergambacht on 29 September 1938. After completing his secondary education he attended Nijenrode Business School. He then did his military service and worked for a trading company for a short time.
In 1961, Mr Kok was appointed assistant international officer of the Netherlands Federation of Trade Unions (Construction Sector). He was appointed staff member for economic affairs of the same union in 1965 and union secretary in 1967.
In 1969, Wim Kok was appointed secretary to the Netherlands Federation of Trade Unions (NVV), and deputy chairman in 1972. He was chairman of the NVV from 1973 to 1985 and, after the NVV had merged with the Dutch Federation of Catholic Trade Unions, chairman of the Federation of Netherlands Trade Unions (FNV). From 1979 to 1982, he also served as chairman of the European Trade Union Confederation.
From 1986 to 1989, and again after the 1994 and 1998 elections, Mr Kok was a member of the Lower House of Parliament and leader of the parliamentary Labour Party (PvdA).
In 1989, he was elected deputy chairman of the Socialist International.
Wim Kok has been deputy chairman of the Socioeconomic Council (SER), chairman of the employees representatives in the Labour Foundation, vice-chairman of the Board of De Nederlandsche Bank, visiting lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies and advisor to the European Commission.
Mr Kok was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the third Lubbers government from 7 November 1989 to 22 August 1994.
On 22 August 1994 he was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs in the first government that bore his name. On 3 August 1998 he was again appointed Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs. On 22 July 2002 he was succeeded by Jan Peter Balkenende.
"Willem (Wim) Kok: Served as Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs of the Netherlands for two terms from 1994 through 2002." 
- Director, Global Fairness Initiative
- Director, International Crisis Group
- Commissioner, International Commission on Missing Persons 
- Supervisory Board, TNT 
- Non-executive director, Royal Dutch Shell
- Cofounder, Progressive Governance Network 
- "Wim Kok", (Biographical note), Undated, Accessed June 2007.