Anthony Herman Gerhard Fokker was born on April 6th, 1890, at Blitar, Kediri, in Java (Indonesia). His father was the owner of a coffee plantation. In August 1894, the family Fokker returned to Haarlem in The Netherlands. There , Anthony went to school. This was a punishment for him, and he did not finish High School. He invented a punctureless motor-tyre cycle. But unfortunately, there was already a French patent for a device like that.
He went to a school for a course in automobile engineering in Bingen, Germany, in 1910. This course could not learn him much, so he went to a school in Zahlbach where building and flying of aeroplanes was taught. There an aeroplane was build, which crashed during the first trial flight. After that, Anthony Fokker designed his first aeroplane, the so called ‘Spin’ (Spider), which was built by Jacob Goedecker. It was named like that, because of the large number of bracing wires. On June 7, 1911 he got his pilot license. He started a factory and flying school at Johannisthal near Berlin, which he left in 1913 for Schwerin. There he stayed during the First World War, building aeroplanes for the German Air Arm.
After the war, he went to Holland, taking with him a large number of tools, materials and complete aircraft, with which he started the ‘N.V. Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek Fokker’ in Amsterdam. There, large number of military and civil aircraft were build, like the C.V-series of reconnaissance aircraft,and F.VII series of passenger aircraft. Fokker was succesfull all over the world, and a large number of record flights were flown with Fokker aircraft. Anthony Fokker went to the USA at this time, and started a factory over there.
At the beginning of the 1930’s, Fokker was still building aeroplanes based on a steel tube frame with fabrin covering. In the USA, Douglas and Boeing started with the all-metal construction, which proved a great succes. Fokker was losing ground, and he was overshadowed by others. Only at the end of the 1930’s, with the threat of a new war, large numbers of aircraft were build again for the Dutch Air Force and Navy.
On December 23rd, 1939, Anthony Fokker died in New York at the age of forty-nine years, from an infection after a nose operation.