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Willem de Klerk started out — like his younger brother F.W. — a supporter of apartheid. But by the 1980s, this Reformed Dutch theologian and journalist determined that the system of racial segregation needed not just to be reformed, but abolished. Known by his nickname "Wimpie," the elder de Klerk was anything but. His anti-apartheid position earned him no friends in government or, indeed, within his family. He resigned from two newspaper editor posts under pressure.
But his political views and relation to the man who would be president — but no actual government ties — made him uniquely suited to be part of the Afrikaner delegation in the talks dramatized in "Endgame".
At times, the de Klerk brothers were barely on speaking terms, but many believe it was Willem that convinced his younger brother to meet with Nelson Mandela in prison.
In 1989, Willem became a founding member of the Democratic Party, the first non-racial political party in South Africa.
The reformed reformer died on August 7, 2009. "Many of his ideas and insights remain relevant for the future," F.W. de Klerk said in a statement upon his brother's death.