Famous persons of Hungarian origin

The country has one of the highest rankings, per capita, for Nobel laureates, with 13 winners going back to their first, in 1905 (for physics), and the most recent, in 2004 (for chemistry).Hungarians have also invented many things, from the biro ballpoint pen (named for inventor László Bíró) to computer science (János Neumann) to Rubik's cube.

Nobel Laureates

1905 Lénárd Fülöp: Physics


1914 Bárány Róbert: Physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus


1925 Zsigmondy Richárd Adolf: Colloid chemistry


1937 Szent-Györgyi Albert: Vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid


1943 Hevesy György: Isotopes as tracers


1961 Békésy György: Stimulation within the cochlea


1963 Wigner Jenő: Structure of the atom and its nucleus (atomic bomb and nuclear engineering)


1971 Gábor Dénes: Holography


1986 Elie Wiesel: Peace prize


1986 Polányi János: Chemistry


1994 Oláh György: Ingredients of oil and natural gas


1994 Harsányi János: Equilibrium in the theory of ‘non-co-operative games’


2002 Kertész Imre: For his novel Fateless


2004 Herskó Ferenc: 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.


Artists

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.


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.


Pulitzer József (1847-1911): journalist and publisher. Best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established posthumously.


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).