Jozef Lodewijk Maria Teugels was born in Londerzeel, Belgium, on February 20, 1939. He received his high school education at Sint-Lievenscollege in Antwerp. He obtained a Candidate diploma in Physics in 1961 and a License degree in Mathematics in 1963 at the Catholic University of Louvain. After serving one year in the army, he obtained his MSc in 1966 and his PhD in 1967 at Purdue University, with Marcel F. Neuts as advisor. In 1967 he was appointed at the Catholic University of Louvain and promoted to Full Professor in 1973. He remained in Leuven until his retirement in 2004. He chaired the Department of Mathematics over the periods 1970–77 and 1982–89. He has held visiting positions at numerous universities in the United Kingdom, Portugal, the United States of America, South Africa, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.