Famous persons of Hungarian origin

Nobel Laureates

Lénárd Fülöp
1905: Physics
Bárány Róbert
1914: Physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus
Zsigmondy Richárd Adolf
1925: Colloid chemistry
Szent-Györgyi Albert
1937: Vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid
Hevesy György
1943: Isotopes as tracers
Békésy György
1961: Stimulation within the cochlea
Wigner Jenő
1963: Structure of the atom and its nucleus
Gábor Dénes
1971: Holography
Elie Wiesel
1986: Peace prize
Polányi János
1986: Chemistry
Oláh György
1994: Ingredients of oil and natural gas
Harsányi János
1994: Equilibrium in the theory of ‘non-co-operative games’
Kertész Imre
2002: For his novel Fateless
Herskó Ferenc
2004: Chemistry

Inventors and Scientists

Semmelweis Ignác (1818–1865):
physician. Known as the ‘saviour of mothers’, he discovered that the principal reason behind childbed fever was inappropriate hand washing.
Szilárd Leó (1898–1964):
physicist who conceived the nuclear chain reaction.
Bíró László (1899–1985):
inventor of the ballpoint pen. Ballpoint pens are still widely referred to as a biro in many English-speaking countries.
Neumann János (1903–1957):
mathematician, the ‘Father of the Computer’.
Teller Ede (1908–2003):
theoretical physicist, known colloquially as ‘the father of the hydrogen bomb’.
Csíkszentmihályi Mihály (1934–):
psychologist. He is best known for his concept and notion of ‘flow’ and for his research and publications on the topic.
Rubik Ernő (1944–):
inventor of the world famous logical puzzle, Rubik’s cube.
Domokos Gábor and Várkonyi Péter:
inventors of ‘Gömböc’, a convex three-dimensional homogeneous body, which has only one stable and one unstable point of equilibrium.
Losonczi Áron (1977–):
inventor of light-transmitting concrete, Litracon.


Liszt Ferenc (1811–1886):
composer and pianist. Liszt was a revolutionary figure in romantic music and was acknowledged as the greatest pianist of his time.
Pulitzer József (1847–1911):
journalist and publisher. Best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established posthumously.
Bartók Béla (1881–1945):
one of the most significant musicians and composers of the 20th century. His music is invigorated by the themes, modes, and rhythmic patterns of Hungarian and other folk music traditions he studied, which he integrated, along with various kinds of influence by his contemporaries, into his own distinctive style.
Kodály Zoltán (1882–1967):
composer and ethnomusicologist of the 20th century. As a scholar of Hungarian music, Kodály collected, arranged, and published folk songs. He was also the creator of a special music-teaching technique known as the Kodály-method.
George Zukor (1899–1983):
Oscar-winning director (The Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady).
Harry Houdini (1874–1926):
the greatest magician on Earth.
André Kertész (1894–1985):
photographer. He is recognised today as one of the creators of photojournalism.
Victor Vasarely (1908–1997):
painter. His geometrical style of painting won him recognition all over the world.
Szabó István (1938–):
film director. In 1981, he won an Oscar for his motion picture Mephisto.
Koltai Lajos (1946–):
cinematographer and film director. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000 for his work on the film Malena.
Kocsis Zoltán (1952–):
pianist, conductor and composer.
Sebestyén Márta (1957–):
folk vocalist. She sang the score for the movie The English Patient (Szerelem, szerelem – Love, love).

Source: Tempus Public Foundation