Alphonsus Josephus de Ridder (7 May 1882 – 31 May 1960), was a Belgian writer and poet who wrote under the pseudonym Willem Elsschot (pronounced [ˈʋɪləm ˈɛlsxɔt]). A number of his works have been translated into English.
De Ridder was born in Antwerp to a baker's family. He studied economics and business. During secondary school, he developed a love for literature. He was quite restless, having various types of jobs in cities from Antwerp and Brussels to Rotterdam and Paris. During the First World War, he served as the secretary of a national food relief committee in Antwerp. After the war he started his own advertising agency, which he ran until his death.
De Ridder died in Antwerp in 1960, receiving a national literary award posthumously. He was interred in the Antwerpen Schoonselhof.