Hugo Maurice Julien Claus (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦyɣoː ˈklʌu̯s]; 5 April 1929 – 19 March 2008) was a leading Belgian author who published under his own name as well as various pseudonyms. Claus' literary contributions spanned the genres of drama, the novel, and poetry; he also left a legacy as a painter and film director. He wrote primarily in Dutch, although he also wrote some poetry in English. He won the 2000 International Nonino Prize in Italy.
His death by euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium, led to considerable controversy.
Hugo Claus was born on 5 April 1929 at Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges, Belgium. He was the eldest of four sons born to Jozef Claus and Germaine Vanderlinden. Jozef worked as a printer but was also fond of theatre.