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Business & Politics

Hungarian Coat of Arms
Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians
 by Bryan Dawson

Did you know... the ball-point pen; nuclear engineering; the holograph; the Model T Ford; Microsoft Office; seat belts and passive safety; binary code, BASIC and computer programming; supersonic flight and the U.S. aerospace industry; the California wine industry; safety matches; Ex-Lax; color television; full-length motion pictures; jet propulsion, the carburetor and the automatic gearbox; and Intel Corporation owe their existence are all Hungarians? And what about a former Emperor of Madagascar?

Click to [Submit] a Famous Hungarian. Please include a Web or other resource for verification purposes. To maintain the high standards and integrity of this site, submissions cannot be accepted without a verifiable resource. COPYRIGHT: Please ask for permission and CITE this source before using this information.

[<< Back to the Master Name Index]


Andy GroveAndy Grove (b 1936, Budapest)
Former President/CEO, and Chairman of Intel. Time's Man of the Year for 1998! That's the second Hungarian to be awarded this honor!

He graduated from the City College of New York in 1960 with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963. Upon graduation, he joined the Research and Development Laboratory of Fairchild Semiconductor and became Assistant Director of Research and Development in 1967.

In July 1968, Dr. Grove participated in the founding of Intel Corporation. In 1979 he was named its President, and in 1987 he was named Chief Executive Officer. Andy's goal to get a computer in front of everyone skyrocketed. In May 1997 he was named Chairman and CEO, and in May 1998 he relinquished his CEO title and remains as Chairman of the Board. He passed on his title of CEO to Craig Barrett in 1998, and now lectures at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has written many books, including “Only the Paranoid Survive,” and patented several semiconductor technologies.

Read the Time Magazine Article, "The Digital Age . . driven by the passion of Intel's Andrew Grove." Visit Intel's Official Site or see Who's Who in Computing where you can read about other Hungarians such as the Fathers of BASIC and the Stored Program Computer (see also Science, Mathematics, & Technology).

Charles SimonyiCharles Simonyi (b. 9/10/1948, Budapest)
Billionaire Computer Scientist and Chief Architect, Microsoft Corporation
Father of WYSIWYG and Hungarian Notation

During the 1970s at Xerox PARC, Charles Simonyi led a team of programmers in the development of Bravo, the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, pronounced wizzywig, i.e. MS Word) word processing editor. Bravo was a fundamental departure from the way information was previously displayed and organized and it was part of PARC's contribution that changed the face of computing and ultimately led to personal computing.

Simonyi, born in Budapest, Hungary, holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University. He worked for the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center from 1972-80 and joined Microsoft in 1981 to start the development of microcomputer application programs. He hired and managed teams who developed Microsoft Multiplan, Word, Excel, and other applications. In 1991, he moved to Microsoft Research where he has been focusing on Intentional Programming. He is generally thought of as one of the most talented programmers at Microsoft.

Dr. Simonyi, whose long career has made him independently wealthy, has endowed two chairs: the Charles Simonyi Professorship For The Understanding Of Science at Oxford University which is held by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins; and the Charles Simonyi Professorship in Theoretical Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Trivia: Dating Martha Stewart

Interview with Simonyi, The, Intentional Programming

calvin1.gif (5360 bytes)Calvin Klein - (b. 11/19/1942, New York)
American Fashion King!

"Calvin's stooped, subdued, Hungarian-born father, Leo Klein, was less comfortable with his son's interest in women's clothing than his wife, but Leo didn't have much to say about it - or about anything else in the household...A grocer by trade, he had come to this country at age eleven with his older brother Ernest, and together the two had worked six and seven days a week building up a series of superettes." pg 15, OBSESSION, The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein, 1994. ISBN:0-380-72500-2 [Buy]

Calvin Klein graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1962 at the age of twenty and then worked five years for the Seventh Avenue manufacturer Dan Misstein. In 1968, longtime friends Calvin Klein and Barry Schwartz opened their first apparel company, designing and selling women´s coats - an anterprise that combined Klein's design talent and Schwartz´s business acumen. A chance meeting with a Bonwit Teiler buyer lead to a substantial order and Klein's achievements soon earned the recognition of the fashion world. By 1969 he had landed the cover of Vogue. In 1973 he won the first three consecutive Coty awards. By 1975 Calvin Klein had become a celebrity, and he changed his somewhat homespun earlier image (a 1973 advertisement quoted him as saying about his new collection, "I made a lot of things that go with things.") for a more glamorous one. Actress Brooke Shields created a stir with her 1980 ads for Calvin Klein jeans, which carried the tagline "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins."

- See also the article or more bios at 
- See runway shows and more at
Steven Udvar-HazySteven Ferencz Udvar-Hazy
Business Tycoon, Aircraft Leasing Pioneer, and GREAT Philanthropist - Father of the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center

President and chief executive officer of International Lease Finance Corporation, the international leader in the leasing and remarketing of new-generation commercial jet aircraft to airlines around the world. ILFC owns nearly 400 aircraft valued at more than $17 billion. Under Udvar-Hazy's leadership, ILFC has become the largest aircraft lessor in the world, measured by fleet value. ILFC's fleet is also the most modern in the world, with an average age of less than four years.

Udvar-Hazy's family came to the United States in 1958, fleeing the Soviet occupation of Hungary. He found early success in his adopted homeland. In 1966, while still attending the University of California at Los Angeles, Udvar-Hazy formed Airlines Systems Research Consultants, a firm specializing in airline routes and fleet and planning analysis. His first clients included Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand.

In 1973 Udvar-Hazy and two partners formed Interlease Group Inc., which is now known as International Lease Finance Corporation. ILFC went public in 1983 with $220 million in assets and $8 million in profit. Since 1990, ILFC has been a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group Inc., the leading international insurance organization.
The Great Gift - The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The National Air and Space Museum's yet-to-be-finished annex in Northern Virginia will be called the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center after the man who last year gave the museum $60 million, the biggest individual donation in the Smithsonian's 153-year history. The museum is scheduled to open in December 2003 and will house more than 100 spacecraft and 180 aircraft. Among the exhibits will be a supersonic SR 71 Blackbird spy plane, the B 29 "Enola Gay" which bombed Hiroshima in World War 2 and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy CenterJoin the National Air and Space Society, Donate, Volunteer, get a Special Virginia License Plate, or place a name on the Center's Wall of Honor!

Smithosonian's Udvar-Hazy Museum

An artist's rendering of the main aviation hangar of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to be built at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va.

George SorosGeorge Soros -
"The world's greatest money manager" and Great Progressive, Controversial Philanthropist.

One of the wealthiest men in America and keen investor, Mr. Soros founded the multi-million dollar "Soros Fund," and actively develops and supports philanthropic endeavors throughout the world, including Hungary and former Hungarian lands. He has also established educational institutions such as the Central European University. Soros achieved his lasting fame early on: Back in 1981 he was hailed as "the world's greatest money manager" by the bible of the trade, Institutional Investor, which wrote: "As Borg is to tennis, Jack Nicholas is to golf and Fred Astaire is to tap dancing, so is George Soros to money management." Read this article.

See the Soros Foundation for more.

George PatakiGeorge Pataki
Governor, New York

His is the classic second-generation-American-makes-good story. The Hungarian Patakis were poor farmers in Peekskill, NY; George worked hard on the farm; they didn't have much, but they were rich in other ways, he describes in his autobiography "Pataki: Where I Come From."

From his Website:  "During his nearly 6-year tenure as New York's 53rd chief executive, Governor Pataki has spoken often of the inherent greatness of the individual. Indeed, the policies he has fought for are all based on the fundamental principle that a strong society is built upon a spirit that springs to life when men and women enjoy, embrace, and exercise freedom in the pursuit of personal greatness -- individually, but not independently of one another. He attributes these beliefs to the lessons he learned on his family's farm in Peekskill and from the example of his mother and late father -- a postman, a farmer and, in the words of the Governor, "a hero who lived the American Dream."

"His deep reverence for freedom was established early in life. In 1956, as an 11-year old boy, he recalls watching the unfolding events of the Hungarian Revolution with his father. He still speaks of the euphoria he felt at the prospect of a liberated Hungary, only to be followed by the despair of seeing Russian tanks rolling through the streets of Hungary. "These were our people, our family. All they wanted was freedom and all the Soviets wanted was to deny them that freedom."

George Pataki
Seen here visiting family in Mátészalka

Read about his life and record on!
See Hungarian-American Panorama (in Hungarian)
Read "A better candidate than Rudy?" at the New Republic Online
Haraszthy - Father of the California Wine IndustryCol. Ágoston Haraszthy - (b. 8/30/1812, Futak, Bacska County, Hungary, d. 7/6/1869)
Founder of Buena Vista Winery and universally-acknowledged “Father of California Viticulture (Wine).” The "Count of Buena Vista"

Count Agoston Haraszthy was a Hungarian nobleman, who, after serving in the Hungarian Diet, took up the cause of the democratic revolutionary Louis Kossuth. Feeling the heat after the arrest of Kossuth by the Austrians, he traveled throughout Europe and eventually came to America in 1840. Invited to Washington by Daniel Webster and other leading Democrats, he was introduced to President Tyler to discuss commercial relations between the US and Hungary. During 1840-41, Haraszthy was the darling of the Washington social season in his full dress Hungarian Guard uniform.

Haraszthy travelled West, and, impressed by what he saw, purchased a small plot along the Wisconsin river and then in partnership with Robert Bryant, an English aristocrat immigrant, bought 10,000 acres from the US Government for a townsite and founded Széptáj (beautiful land) and, in addition to building the town from the ground up and attracting settlers, he founded the first steamboat transport company on the Wisconsin River.  In spite of these successes, Haraszthy was disappointed in not being able to establish the high quality vineyards of his native Hungary. By 1848 the Haraszthy family decided to answer the common call to California. Szeptaj was later renamed Sauk City, today the oldest incorporated village in Wisconsin. 

He travelled the frontier extensively visiting many Indian groups and living amongst them for three and a half months. He wrote in detail about his travels and his resulting book is the first authentic source about Native American culture in Hungarian. He said of the Indians in defending their interests, "These people are not as cruel as many have claimed...they carry out all their promises, and it is easy to win their friendship." 

He found his way to California and became sheriff and state representative in San Diego County. George Webber, an actor and guide who, as Buena Vista Winery's "Official Ambassador" portrays Haraszthy in full period dress explains, "While representing San Diego in the state legislature in 1852, he met General Vallejo, who invited him to visit in Sonoma. He got here, took one look, and said “This is it! The perfect vine-land on earth.” The native stone winery he built in 1857 in Sonoma still stands. It’s out on Old Winery Road, and it’s just been thoroughly renovated but has kept the historical integrity. It was the first gravity-flow winery in California. He was the first to use redwood barrels for aging, something that became the norm. He was the first to do a lot of things in California’s wine industry."

He built his beautiful home - the Buena Vista Ranch - and was among the first to notice the state's great wine-growing potentialities. The eighteenth century Franciscans had already laid out vineyards and the missions had their wineries. Haraszthy decided to work on that foundation. He introduced cuttings of Muscat Alexandria grape and Zinfandel red wine grape. Later he imported two hundred thousand vine cuttings, including the most important European varieties such as the famous Hungarian Tokay grape at his Sonoma winery.  Haraszthy then headed for Nicaragua, lured by the reports of' its untapped resources. He developed a sugar plantation and a rum distillery. He fell into a river filled with crocodiles near his estate Hacienda San Antonio at Corinto on July 6, 1869 and lost his life. What a way to go! Due largely to Haraszthy's initiative, California was to produce most of the nation's wine. Half a million California acres were to be turned over to viticulture, second only to orange growing in the State's agricultural economy.

His book, "Grape Culture, Wines, and Winemaking," with notes on Agriculture and Horticulture, published in. New York, 1862, is an extremely important work and describes his tour of Europe in 1861 where he collected over 100,000 rooted vines for shipment to California. 

Maj. Geza Haraszthy, of the Civil War era 18th New York Cavalry Regiment, was his eldest son.

- See "A Converstation with Count Agoston Haraszthy" commemorating his 200th Birthday
- Visit Buena Vista Winery!
- Read a more detailed biography in English at the San Diego Historical Society 
- Read about his time as Sheriff of San Diego County and his building of the first jail! 
- See another biography with pictures of the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma County in Hungarian
- Read The Grape Vine (.pdf format) for a history on California wine and notables.

Tom LantosHon. Tom Lantos - (b. 2/1/1928, Budapest, Hungary, d.)
11-term U.S. Congressman from California (D)

Lantos was elected to his eleventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2000. He was first elected to Congress in November 1980 by the lowest plurality of any Member of Congress that year -- 46% to his opponent's 43%. In 2000, he was reelected with 75% of the vote. His landslide victories show strong bi-partisan support. He was first elected on 13th of January, 1981 at the age of  52. 

Lantos was 16 years old when Nazi Germany occupied his native country. As a teenager, he was a member of the anti-Nazi underground and later of the anti-Communist student movement. Tom was awarded an academic scholarship to study in the United States, and he arrived here in 1947. He received a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Washington in Seattle and later earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. For three decades before his election to Congress (1950-1980), Tom Lantos was a professor of economics, an international affairs analyst for public television, and a consultant to a number businesses. He also served in senior advisory roles to members of the United States Senate. He and his wife Annette have 17 grandchildren. He is now co-chair of the first Hungarian American Caucus!

- See his Official Website

Ernest IstookHon. Ernest Istook - (b. 2/11/1950, Fort Worth TX)
U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma (R)

Rep Istook's family immgrated to the US from Hungary through Ellis Island and spoke Hungarian at home. Rep. Istook graduated with a B.A. in journalism from Baylor University in 1971. A self-made man, he worked full time as a radio news reporter while attending law school at night. Upon graduating from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1976, he established his own law firm, and practiced law for 15 years. He began his Congressional career in November of 1992, having come from a background of public service in the Sooner State at both the local and state levels. Since being sworn into office in January of 1993, he has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He currently serves as the chairman of the Transportation and Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee, and in 2003, he was appointed to the Select Committee on Homeland Security.

Istook wrote in his support of the bill making English the official US language: "We should enjoy our cultural heritage, and preserve it.  My father’s parents were native to Hungary, and came to America via Ellis Island.  At home, my father and his family spoke Hungarian.  But they never questioned the need for the children to learn English for common use.  I’m proud of my Hungarian ancestry.  But I’m even prouder to be an American.  E pluribus unum means, “Out of many, one.”  If we are to be one, we need a common tongue. And that’s English."

He is now co-chair of the first Hungarian American Caucus! He married the former Judy Lee Bills in 1973. They have five children: Ernest III ("Butch"), Chad, Amy, Diana and Emily. They also have three granddaughters and one grandson. The family resides in Warr Acres.

- See Istook Online

Nikolas SarkozyNicolas Sarkozy (b. 1/28/1955, Paris, France)
President of France, former French Minister of the Interior, Internal Security and Local Freedoms

Sarkozy often mentions his heritage. His father is Pal Nagy y Sarkozy, an aristocrat who fled Hungary in 1944 and acquired French citizenship. Pal always considered himself Hungarian and, as a result, Nicolas speaks the mother tongue fluently. It seemed everyone in France predicted Sarkozy would one day become president. A graduate in public law and political science, Nicolas Sarkozy is a barrister by profession. In 1987, he was responsible at the Ministry of the Interior for action to combat chemical and radiological risks. He became a very popular figure nicknamed "Sarko."

Nicolas Sarkozy entered politics in 1977, at the age of 21, when he was elected mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine as a member of the RPR's Central Committee. He was National delegate for young RPR party members from 1978 to 1979, and then became chairman of the national committee for young people supporting Jacques Chirac in the 1981 presidential election. He became a member of the Ile-de-France Regional Council from 1983 to 1988, and then member of the executive bureau and Vice-Chairman of the Hauts-de-Seine General Council (1985-1988). He was elected National Assembly Deputy for Hauts-de-Seine for the first time in 1988, re-elected in 1993, 1995 and again in 1997 when he became a member of the National Assembly finance committee. Sarkozy sat as an MEP (Union for Europe) from July to September 1999. He gave up his seat as an MEP to Brice Portefeux, Chairman of the Rassemblement pour la République's (RPR) Hauts-de-Seine Department Committee. Sarkozy became Minister for the Budget in 1993 and was Government Spokesman from March 1993 until July 1994. He was also acting Minister of Communication in the Balladur Government from January to April 1995. He has been a member of the RPR's political bureau since 1995, and is its Spokesman. As Secretary-General from 1998-1999, he was also its acting chairman. He is married with two children.

- See the French Government Site 
- Read a BBC article
- See Hungarian Online Resources

Max Kiss - ExLaxMax Kiss (b. d. 6/221/1967 Atlantic Beach, New York)
Pharmacist / Inventor of Ex-Lax!

In the early 1900s, Max Kiss, a Hungarian immigrant who lived in Brooklyn and was trained as a pharmacist, decided to create a laxative with a pleasant flavor. The only laxatives available at that time were liquids with a bitter taste. Kiss combined phenolphthalein, a chemical that relaxed the intestines, with chocolate. The origins of its active ingredient, phenolphthalein, are unclear. One theory is that its laxative qualities were discovered accidentally in 1902 by Hungarians considering using it as an additive for wines.

Kiss first called his new chocolate tablets Bo-Bos, but one afternoon he happened to read in the local Hungarian language newspaper about a deadlock in Hungary's parliament. The Hungarian words for "parliamentary deadlock" are sometimes shortened to "ex-lax" in print. Kiss thought it sounded like "excellent laxative!" He launched his company and new product in 1906 and called it Ex-Lax. Today, Ex-Lax is the best-selling chocolate laxative and the second best-selling laxative overall. It was acquired by Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

In 1997, the maker of best-selling Ex-Lax laxatives, Novartis Consumer Health, was pulling from the market all versions of the medication containing phenolphthalein, an ingredient the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wanted to ban. Novartis reformulated its laxatives with senna, a plant-based ingredient also commonly used in laxatives, and re-introduce their product.


  • In 2004, a Minnesotan teenager was charged with a felony when she gae Ex-Lax-laced brownies to her teacher! The teen meant it as a joke and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for the lesser charge.

Louis SzatmaryChef Louis Szathmáry - (b. 6/2/1919, Budapest, d. 1996)
Legendary Chef and founder of Chicago's "The Bakery" - father of the "Stouffer's frozen dinner"

Founder of the internationally acclaimed Chicago restaurant "The Bakery." Chef Louis had a doctorate in psychology from the University of Budapest and a master’s degree in journalism. Szathmary was born on a freight train while his family fled invading Soviet troops. He learned to cook in the Hungarian army. After service in the Hungarian army during World War II, Szathmary spent time in a succession of German and Soviet prison camps and thereafter was a displaced person confined to the American occupation zone in Austria. Szathmary lived in Austria and other Western European countries before coming to the USA in 1951.

An ardent book collector, Szathmary confessed that he worked two jobs in the beginning, one during the day and another at night--and spent all the money he made on books. Of his early days in America, Szathmary said that he would spend hours in the Salvation Army basement searching for books, which he purchased for as little as five cents each. He said, “I rummaged through books in bins, on tables outside the door, and amid the garbage that accumulates in the back of used bookshops. I found treasures--valuable items--because I had the time.” On the seventh day, he recalled, “I spent all the money I have on books.” He would eventually become the owner of the largest collection cookbooks, culinary literature and artifacts. He donated his entire collection to the University of Iowa and Johnson & Wales College. Chef Louis also had one of the largest collections of materials by and related to Franz (Ferenc) Liszt, Bartok and Kodaly which he donated to Boston University. His large collection of Hungariana was donated to the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago and, like his other collections is regarded as one of the most important in the world.

Szathmary and his wife Sadako Tanino owned and operated The Bakery Restaurant in Chicago for 26 years. It grossed more than $1 million a year for much of the time he was in business--and this was a restaurant that served only five dinners a week, no lunch, no bar and no “early birds”. He dominated the dining room with his commanding presence. He’d walk around in rolled up sleeves, wearing an apron, often telling diners in his booming voice, what to order - - or to ask them why something was left on a plate. 

Not well known is that Szathmary developed the first frozen dinners for Stouffer Food Corp. He worked as produce development manager for Armour, coming up with new foods and ways to prepare them. According to Basbanes, Szathmary also designed a kitchen for military field hospitals that could be dropped by parachute and assembled quickly in combat zones.

- Read about his life story

Charles CsuriCharles A. Csuri
Artist - "Father of Digital Art"

A Pioneer in Computer Graphics and Art. Co-founder of Cranston and Csuri Productions whose credits include the acclaimed "Living Body" series. He has directed over 25 major research projects for the National Science Foundation, Navy and Air Force and the findings have been applied to flight simulation, computer aided design, and the special effects industry. One of his computer films is part of the collection at New York's Modern Art Museum. 

- Read more detail on this site at Film, the Arts, & Media

Erno RubikErnő Rubik -
Mathematician, Inventor of the Rubik's Cube!

A brilliant logical games inventor, he invented Rubik's cube in 1974 and many more logical, mind-teasing toys since and turned his inventions into multi-million dollar enterprises. Though his name is now a household word, at the time, Erno Rubik was a lecturer in the Department of Interior Design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest.

Rubik's CubeAlthough 1974 marks the inauguration of the Cube, the processes that led to the invention began a few years earlier, nor was the identity of the inventor a fortuitous accident. Erno Rubik had a passionate interest in geometry, in the study of 3D forms, in construction and in exploring the hidden possibilities of combinations of forms and material in theory and in practice. He is now one of the wealthiest men in Hungary.

The difficulty of solving the Cube and the absolute compulsion to solve it generated over 60 books offering desperately needed help. They in turn generated more addicts, displaying with evident pride their newly acquired prowess. After winning the highest prize for outstanding inventions in Hungary, in 1980 the Cube won top toy awards in Germany, France, Britain and the U.S. by 1981 it entered the New York Museum of Modern Art as an exhibit. The Cube achieved such a universal presence and penetrated so deeply the fabric of our society that "Rubik's Cube", by 1982 a household term, became part of the Oxford English Dictionary.


  • Over 100 million Rubik's Cubes were sold in the period 1980-1982

- See the official site,

Adrienne VittadiniAdrienne Vittadini (b. 1945, Budapest)
Renowned Fashion Designer

When she was 12, her family fled Budapest during the 1956 Hungarian revolution. In 1979, she started what would become a multi-100 million dollar business as a hobby. The brand name Adrienne Vittadini is synonymous with designs that have a "Euro-American" point of view. She uses vibrant colors and prints and she is known for her clothing, handbags, swimsuits, shoes, and perfumes. Her company was purchased by Retail Brand Alliance in 2001.


  • Her home in the Hamptons was sold for a record $8 million! You go girl!
  • Adrienne was also ranked in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1992). 
  • Her designs are worn by Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen and Joan Lunden. 

- See Am I

Anna RosenbergAnna M. Rosenberg - (b. 1902, Budapest, d. 1983)
Assistant-Secretary of Defense in Truman Cabinet. Medal of Freedom in 1945 and Medal of Merit in 1947.

Her family immigrated to the United States when her father lost his business after a large customer cancelled his order. They settled in the Bronx borough of New York City in 1912 and in 1919, she became a naturalized American citizen and married Julius Rosenberg.

Anna M. Rosenberg would eventually shatter the glass ceiling that had divided women from the senior national military establishment when she was appointed assistant secretary of defense in 1950. Rosenberg began her political involvement in the early 1920s and quickly developed a reputation for expertise on personnel and labor issues that brought her into contact with Democratic politicos. It was during this period of time that Rosenberg first met the Roosevelts, and in 1928 FDR sought her advice on labor policy in his campaign for governor. In Albany, as in Washington, FDR continued to seek Rosenberg's counsel, and throughout the 1930s he continually tapped her to serve the federal government in a variety of labor-related positions.

Although Rosenberg spent a considerable amount of time in Washington during this period, she remained active in New York state politics as well, serving as chairwoman of the New York State Constitutional Committee in 1937 and as a member of the New York City and state war councils. Rosenberg began her specific association with defense-related labor issues in the early 1940s with appointments to the Manpower Consulting Committee of the Army and Navy Munitions Board and the War Manpower Commission. This experience was deepened in July 1944 when President Roosevelt sent her to Europe to make manpower observations about the American military. For her service to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Rosenberg would be awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1945 and the United States Medal for Merit in 1947. Even after the war was over, however, Rosenberg remained active in the defense community, eventually serving as an advisor to Air Force Secretary W. Stuart Symington and then as assistant secretary of defense from 1950 to 1953. While at the Pentagon, Rosenberg worked hard to bring about the effective implementation of the National Security Act, took steps to promote racial integration of the services, and lent support to legislation that would safeguard the rights of minorities in the military.

As a prominent Democrat, Rosenberg returned to private life after the Republican victory in 1952, briefly returning to government service at the end of the Johnson administration to serve on the Commission on Income Maintenance. In 1962, the Rosenbergs divorced and she married Paul G. Hoffman, the first administrator of the Marshall Plan and a top United Nations official. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman died in 1983, at the age of 81.

Andrew SarlosAndrew Sarlos (b. 11/24/1931, Budapest d. 4/28/1997, Canada)
Hungarian-born Canadian investor and financial guru, author, and great philanthropist

Educated at the University of Budapest, Faculty of Economics, Andrew "Andy" Sarlos took part in the 1956 Hungarian freedom fight. He was also imprisoned during the Stalinist purges. Sarlos emigrated to Canada in1957. As Chairman of Andrew Sarlos and Associates, a financial consulting company, Sarlos both made and lost fortunes and came to be known as the "Buddha of Bay Street" because of his expertise and daring in deal making and playing the stock market; he shared his knowledge and his money, and he was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of the contributions he made to charities.

- See a great article called "building Bay Street" in

Peter Goldmark -
Engineer, Inventor: Invented the Color Television and LP Record. Became Head of CBS Labs. 

See Famous Hungarians: Science Math and Technology

Peter GoldmarkPeter Goldmark, Jr. -
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the International Herald Tribune

Son of the genius inventor and father of color television and the LP record Peter Goldmark, Sr. Before reaching his current post, he was the eleventh President of The Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to this appointment he was Senior Vice President in charge of five Eastern Newspapers for the Times Mirror Company. Before joining the Times Mirror Company in 1985, Mr. Goldmark served for eight years as Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He served as Director of the Budget for the State of New York, Secretary of Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Assistant Budget Director for Program Planning and Analysis for New York City and Executive Assistant to New York City's Mayor in 1971. He also serves on the World Bank Institute's External Advisory Council. Mr. Goldmark received a BA in Government from Harvard University.

This from Business Hungary:

"For Peter Goldmark, one could almost make the argument that the possibilities of media were imprinted on his DNA. With a pedigree of scientific prowess from a parent who helped invent television, the first long-playing record and the forerunner to the VCR system, Goldmark seemed born to make a mark in this realm. But it didn't happen instantly; Goldmark's CV is like a public servant's ten commandments of social concerns addressed, be it as head of the Rockefeller foundation or of the Port Authority in New York."

- See an article by him entitled, "Spotting a Winner"
- Another article by him entitled, "'CAN YOU HEAR IT?': A Challenge to Media C.E.O.s" Listen!
- Listen to a presentation at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development where Peter is a council member.

Estee LauderEstée Lauder - (b. 1908, Corona, Queens, NY)
Cosmetic Queen! Founder of the current world cosmetics leader!

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., employs some 10,000 people around the globe and today controls 45 per cent of the cosmetics market in US department stores and is sold in over 100 markets under well recognized brand names: Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown essentials, Tommy Hilfiger, Jane, Donna Karan Cosmetics, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone and Kate Spade!

"Measure your success in dollars, not degrees"

Estée Lauder's name connotes beauty and healthy skin through her profitable cosmetics lines: Estée Lauder, Clinique, Aramis, Lauder for Men, and Prescriptives. An astute businesswoman, she made a fortune manufacturing, marketing, and distributing cosmetics to women around the world. Estée Lauder was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Queens, New York, to Max and Rose (Schotz Rosenthal) Mentzer, a Hungarian immigrant with a French Catholic mother and Jewish father. She grew up in the Corona section of Queens, New Jersey. Estée was about nineteen when she met Joseph Lauter, son of Lillian and William Lauter, immigrants from Galicia. They married on January 15, 1930, and their son Leonard Allen was born on March 19, 1933 and Ronald in February 1944. In about 1937, Estée Lauder began to use the Lauder spelling of her name for her products. After 20 years of slow hard work in the cosmetics industry, starting by selling a face cream made by her Hungarian uncle, she brought out her Youth Dew scented bath oil, which was an enormous success in the 1950s and 1960s. Innovative, with a talent for adapting, marketing and promotion, she built up an estimated $1 billion a year business.

Read more about her at the Jewish Virtual Library or 
read Close encounters with Estée Lauder
See various books about her

Ronald LauderRonald S. Lauder (b. February 1944)
US Ambassador to Vienna, Deputy Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy
, philanthropist and businessman. 

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, he served as Ambassador to Austria and brought to his diplomatic post the knowledge and experience in European affairs gathered from his previous position as Deputy Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy. He serves as Chairman of The New York State Commission on Privatization, appointed by fellow Hungarian, Governor Pataki. He is the founder, Chairman of the Board, and controlling stockholder of Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ:CETV), the leading commercial television company in Central and Eastern Europe. He also is a co-founder, Chairman of the Board and controlling shareholder of RSL Communications, Ltd. (NASDAQ:CETV), an independent, global, facilities-based telecommunications company. He also is a member of the Board and a principal shareholder of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL).

He has long been committed to civic causes and public policy issues. As a son of Estée Lauder, who earned her fortune with cosmetics, he started the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. He founded the Lauder Javne Jewish Community Schools were founded in Vienna, Prague, Pozsony (Bratislava) and Budapest. The Foundation provided a major financial donation for the construction of the campus in the Buda Hills and continues to give yearly contributions for the school’s activities. The school has 680 students in Kindergarten, Elementary and High School. In 1995, Mr. Lauder was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He serves as a trustee for the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the World Monuments Fund, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Visiting Committee of the Wharton School.

He and New York City restaurateur and fellow Hungarian George Lang bought Budapest's 105-year-old Gundel restaurant. Their dream was to refurbish the "sleeping beauty," which, in the early 1900s, was the most famous restaurant in central Europe.

Read more about him, George Lang, and the famed Gundel Restaurant.
See Move over Paris - there's another 'City of Light'

Leonard LauderLeonard A. Lauder (b. March 19, 1933, NY)
White House Advisor and Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

Mr. Lauder has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1995. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Company from 1982 through 1999 and President from 1972 until 1995. Mr. Lauder formally joined the Company in 1958 after serving as an officer in the United States Navy. Since joining the Company, he has served in various positions, including executive officer positions other than those described above. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art, a Charter Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, a Trustee of The Aspen Institute and a Director of RSL Communications, Ltd. He also served as a member of the White House Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations under President Reagan.

Leonard Lauder's fortune is estimated between 6 and 7 billion Swiss francs!  He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Whitney’s American Art Award, "Philanthropists of the Year” (with his wife Evelyn) by the Greater New York Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, and France honored him for his support of the arts with the insignia of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Read more Celebrities in Switzerland: Léonard A. Lauder

Erno LaszloErnõ László - (b. 1898, Budapest, d. 1973 New York)
Dermatologist and Cosmetics Tycoon: Father of Modern Skincare Products

From the Erno Laszlo Institute and Cosmopolis
Erno Laszlo studied skin pathology and skin disease at the Royal Hungarian Elisabeth University of Medical Sciences in Budapest. His legend begins in 1920's Hungary where Dr. Erno Laszlo achieved notoriety when Princess Stephanie of Habsburg tried one of his skin preparations -- and was transformed into a beauty. Soon women from all ranks of society were running to the doctor for skin advice. A chemist at heart, he began experimenting with different formulas in search of a new generation of treatment that would correct rather than hide complexion problems.

In 1927 Dr. Laszlo opened his first Institute in Budapest. His formulations and practices seemed radical, but brought astounding results. In 1939 Dr. Laszlo finally moved to America opening his famed Fifth Avenue Institute in New York City. The Erno Laszlo Institute was a closed society of the rich, famous and powerful. One needed to be recommended to gain admittance, and a single reference alone was often not good enough. Among his clients were the Duchess of Windsor, Gloria Vanderbilt, Doris Duke, Greta Garbo, Lilian Gish, Truman Capote, The Begum Aga Khan and the Duke of Windsor.  In the 1960s, the list was enlarged by Audrey Hepburn, Yul Brynner, Hubert de Givenchy, Mrs. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and many more. In the pictures of Marilyn Monroe's death bed in August 1962, her Laszlo preparations could be seen on her bedside table. In the 1970s, Barbra Streisand, Diane Keaton, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Woody Allen, Sting, Val Kilmer and James Spader joined. Later, Erno Laszlo products could be seen in films like Bonfire of the Vanities, Working Girl, Annie Hall and Final Analysis.

His company would eventually grow far beyond the Institute to become a retail giant, merging with Chesebrough-Ponds in 1966. The merger allowed him to re-focus on research. In 1973, at the age of 75, he died from heart failure.

George Rosencrantz - (b. 1916, Budapest)
Chemist, Businessman, Founder of Syntex, the number seventeen world-ranked drug firm, the developer of Aleve.

Syntex is a firm prominent in agribusiness as well. Its founder-chairman, George Rosencrantz recently moved to Mexico due to a bizarre kidnap scheme involving his wife. The Syntex/Procter & Gamble Co. joint venture, launched Aleve® (naproxen sodium) in 1994.

Read a controversial excerpt from the book, 'Murder by Injection' by Eustace Mullins.

saint ElizabethSt. Elizabeth of Hungary (b. 1207, Pozsony, Hungary [now called Bratislava after Czech annexation], d. November 17, 1231 Marburg, Hesse)
Giver of Charity, Patroness of Hospitals

Elizabeth (also known as St. Elizabeth of Thuringia) was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth's brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece.

Betrothed at the age of four to Louis, the son of Landgrave Herman I of Thuringia, Elizabeth was raised at the court of her future in-laws. She was a very devout child and was taunted for her faith by her caretakers in Thuringia. When Louis succeeded his father in 1221, he and Elizabeth were married. It was a very happy marriage, and they had three or four children (accounts vary). But their happy life together was short; Louis felt called to go on a Crusade in 1229 and died of the plague three months later. 

His brother usurped his throne and forced Elizabeth and her children to leave court in the dead of winter. After finding suitable people to take care of her children, she put herself into a very strict convent under the guidance of a severe spiritual mentor. She lived in dire poverty and privation in Bamberg where she spent her time ministering to the poor. Her charity and generosity were legendary, even while she was married to Louis. She founded many hospitals and was especially concerned with the plight of lepers and orphans.

One story in her legend says that on one of her missions of charity, she came upon a child with leprosy who had been cast out of his house. She brought the child home and put him to bed in her own bed. When her husband heard of it and came in to see him, ready to reproach Elizabeth, he turned back the covers, and they saw the Christ Child smiling at them. Then the child vanished.

Shortly before her death at the age of 24, her son regained control of the government of Thuringia and summoned her back to court. Elizabeth was canonized in 1235 by Pope Gregory IX. The shrine of her remains in Marburg was a popular pilgrimage in the middle ages.

She is usually depicted holding a basket of roses because of another part of her legend, which tells of her being out distributing bread to the poor. Louis happens upon her, and the bread was miraculously changed into roses to hide her true mission. Records show, however, that Louis was very supportive of her charity. Her feast day is November 17.

- Read her life story
- Read the Litany of Saint Elizabeth

Don RitterDonald Lawrence Ritter (b. New York City, 10/1/1940, d.)
US Congressman, Republican from Pennsylvania

Ritter attended public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. and obtained a B.S. at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., in 1961. He went on to obtain his M.S. and Sc. D at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ritter was a scientific exchange fellow, United States National Academy of Sciences-Soviet Academy of Sciences, Baikov Institute, Moscow, U.S.S.R., from 1967-1968 and then an assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University. He was a metallurgy professor and assistant to the vice president for research, Lehigh University, 1969-1976, manager of research program development, Lehigh University, 1976-1978, and then engineering consultant to industry.

Ritter was elected as a Republican to the Ninety-sixth and to the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1979-January 3, 1993), but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1992. 

Don Ritter was a leader of the American effort to help the people of Afghanistan throughout the 1980s, working closely with Afghan community and resistance leaders here and abroad. He was the first member of Congress to act publicly using his position as senior member of the Congressional Helsinki Commission to engage that body in the Afghan human rights and policy debate. Ritter is founder and chairman of the Afghanistan-America Foundation, formed to bring peace and stability to that country.

Eugene Jerome Hainer - (b. 8/16/1851, Hungary - d. 3/17/1929, Omaha, Nebraska)
US Congressman, Republican from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Eugene (Jeno) immigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled in Columbia, Mo., in 1854, and in the new Hungarian settlement, New Buda, Iowa, in 1861. He spent his boyhood on a farm near Garden Grove, Iowa, until 1873 and attended the public schools of Decatur County, Garden Grove Seminary, and Iowa Agricultural College. He graduated from the law department of Simpson Centenary College, Indianola, Iowa, in 1876 and was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice at Aurora, Nebr., in 1877. 

Hainer became interested in banking and in a group of creameries in southern Nebraska. He was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1897), but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1896. He resumed the practice of law in Aurora and, after 1904, in Lincoln and retired in July 1928 and moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he resided until his death on March 17, 1929. He is interned in Wyuka Cemetery, in Lincoln.

FleischmannCharles Fleischmann - (b. 11/3/1834, Budapest, d. 12/10/1889, Cincinatti)
Founder of the famous Standard Brands Yeast Company of Fleischmann's Yeast fame, former Ohio State Senator, Colonel, Delegate to Republican National Convention, Inventor, Philanthropist

Charles Fleischmann was born near Budapest, Hungary, on November 3, 1834, son of Alois and Babette Fleischmann. He was educated in Vienna and Prague and emigrated to American in 1866. He and brother Maximillian partnered with James W. Gaff and  founded a business in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1868 to produce and sell compressed yeast and distilled spirits. The Fleischmann Manufacturing Company bought the 65 acres of Charles Point in 1899. Its first product was yeast. Then came vinegar, malt, syrup, gin and whiskey. The yeast production was the world's largest, and vinegar production second largest by World War I. Active dry yeast was widely used in World War II, for which Standard Brands Company (known as Fleischmanns) was awarded an Army and Navy Production Award in 1943, with an "E" for Excellence. Gustav Fleischmann retired in 1953.

FleischmannHis mechanical ingenuity led to a number of inventions which he patented between 1869 and 1888: an improved distilling apparatus, a new process for aging liquors, an improved cotton gin and a process of extracting oil from cotton seed, as well as improvements to the sewing machine, machine cranks, and motors. Among other business interests, Fleischmann was an organizer of the Market National Bank of Cincinnati in 1887, and served as its president from 1889 until his death. 

In his later years, he entered into public service, rising in stature to become an Ohio state senator (he was serving his second term at the time of his death ). He also distinguished himself as a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1880 and 1884, as fire commissioner of Cincinnati from 1886 to 1890, and as a colonel on the staff of Governor McKinley, 1892 to 1893.

Charles Fleischmann died in Cincinnati on December 10, 1897. He was survived by his wife, Henrietta, and his two sons, Julius and Max. Julius in particular was to follow in his father's footsteps and continue building the Fleischmann empire:

FleischmannJulius Fleischmann, Mayor of Cincinatti and President of The Fleischmann Co., Philanthropist (b. 6/8/1871, Riverside, Ohio - d. Miami, 1925)

Julius completed his education at Franklin, a private school in Cincinnati, and began his business career in 1889 as a clerk in his father's yeast and distilling establishment, Fleischmann & Co. He displayed such executive ability that in 1894, at the age of 22, he was made general manager. In 1905, it was incorporated with a capital of $6,000,000 as The Fleischmann Co. of which Julius Fleischmann was president. Julius Fleischmann was also president of The Fleischmann Malting Co. of Chicago, the American Diamalt Co. of Cincinnati, and the Reliance Coal & Coke Co. of Cincinnati. From 1898 to 1918, he was president of the Market National bank of Cincinnati, founded by his father. 

FleischmannIn 1900, he was elected mayor of Cincinnati, and though he was the youngest mayor the city had ever had, Julius Fleischmann was so popular that when he ran for reelection, he won by a majority three times as large as that of the first election. He refused a third nomination. Following in his father's footsteps, he was a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1904, 1908, and 1912, and aide-de-camp on the staffs of Governors McKinley, Bushnell and Nash.

Julius Fleischmann became known as a generous patron of the arts and music. He owned a large collection of valuable paintings and served for many years as president and director of the Cincinnati College of Music. He was also keenly interested in various forms of sport. For a number of years, he was one of the owners of the Cincinnati Reds  National League Baseball Club, and in his earlier years was one of the best known turfmen in the United States.

Yachting was among his favorite sports, and two weeks before his death, he was reelected commodore of the Port Washington, NY, Yacht Club. He also played polo and owned a large string of polo ponies. He collapsed and died in Miami on February 5, 1925, while playing a polo game. His financial speculations were so heavy that the news of his sudden death caused a sharp decline in the stock market in Chicago.

Julius Fleischmann Jr. also left his mark as a developer and Philanthropist

The botanical species in Naples Florida literally got their start largely through the efforts of the gardens’ second owner, Julius Fleischmann jr. who resurrected the property after 20 years of languishment following park founder Nehrling’s 1929 passing. Julius foresaw Naples as the “Palm Beach of the West Coast” and toward that end helped with plantings around town, particularly along Third Street South. Meanwhile, in the gardens itself, he added a waterfall, trails and tropical birds, opening his new “Caribbean Gardens” to the public in 1954. Though the property is still owned by the Fleischmann family, it did change operational hands in 1969 after the death of its benefactor.


  • Louis Armstrong was signed to host the Fleischmann's Yeast Show, a national network radio program
  • The Fleischmann Foundation continues to support the Education, Arts and other good works

- Read about Julius
- Read the official history ad find yummy recipes at

Count BenyovszkyCount Móric Benyovszky (9/20/1741, Verbo, Hungary - 5/24/1784, Madagascar) 
Emperor of Madagascar and Adventurer!

Count Benyovszky (Benyowsky) began his career as an officer in the Seven Years’ War. Seeking further adventures, he went to Poland and joined the Polish freedom fighters against Russia. He fought so well that the Poles appointed him general and made him a count. He was eventually taken prisoner and deported to East Siberia (Kamchatka). Here he rallied his fellow prisoners and managed to capture the fort of the governor and the heart of his daughter. He then commandeered a Russian battleship and set out to explore the Pacific. Having visited Japan, Hong Kong and various islands, he spent some time on Formosa (today Taiwan) straightening out the local political situation. He then sailed on and inspected the huge island of Madagascar off the African coast, then still independent and ruled by countless native chieftains. He eventually arrived in France, where he suggested to the king (Louis XV) that he should establish a French colony on Formosa or Madagascar. The king appointed him a general, gave him the title of count and a few promises, and sent him off to Madagascar. Equipped with his titles (and not much else) he landed in Madagascar, befriended some tribes, defeated the others and in 1776 was proclaimed by the assembled chieftains, Emperor of Madagascar. He ruled the island wisely for three years. Among other things he introduced Latin script – with Hungarian spelling – for the Madagascar language. The islanders still use his script and spelling. Then – probably at the urging of his family (he had several, in fact) – he returned to France seeking closer trade and political ties.

This time the French ignored him, so he returned to his native Hungary, where queen Maria Theresa made him a count and appointed him general. But she was not interested in African colonies (she had Hungary, after all . . .) So Benyovszky went to Britain and then to the new Republic of the United States. There he loaded his ship with goods for Madagascar (before they could make him a count and appoint him general) and sailed back to his kingdom. To his surprise, he found a French military establishment there (led probably by a general who was also a count). He fought to regain his kingdom but died during the fighting. Some native legends and street names (and a few generals and counts) keep his memory in Madagascar.

- Read the incredible Timeless Nation at or go directly to its Chapter 30 to read more of the above
- See this great essay on his life in Hungarian

Peter MunkPeter Munk (b. 11/8/1927, Hungary, d. )
Industrial Tycoon - One of the Richest Men in Canada: Founder of Barrick Gold and the multi-billion dollar Canadian construction and development firm TrizecHahn 

Peter Munk was born into a well-to-do Jewish family. With the recent Nazi takeover of Hungary, the Munks and family escaped to Switzerland, arriving in Basel in late August 1944. Peter was put in a hostel for students, while his father, his stepmother and most of the other Munk family members were taken to the Hotel Belmont at Montreux, which served as the military internment camp for refugees. His family sent him alone to his uncle in Toronto 1950 and would receive a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1952 at age 25, having paid for part of his tuition running a chain of Christmas tree lots.

It didn't take Munk long to become famous. After establishing himself in Canada, Munk first tried his hand at South Pacific hotels and then with high-born Canadian partner David Gilmour launched a company called Clairtone Sound Corp. in 1958, making high-priced, technically advanced sound systems. Clairtone flew high for 9 years, making millions. But a few years after the Nova Scotia government paid him 8 million to move his operations there, sales dried up, with Nova Scotia out 23 million! His adventure just began! Munk got into the gold business. His team took an interest in a Nevada property that had been explored by a mom-and-pop company, invested $62 million in it and produced what became an astounding success, one that miners talk about in reverential tones. About 18.6 million ounces of gold has been mined there since, providing a cash flow in 2000 alone of $315 million. The company has been able to take over 1,945 acres of onetime federal land with a gold deposit worth billions for less than $10,000 because of the generous terms of the 1872 Mining Law.

Munk also founded TrizecHahn Corporation, a Toronto-based integrated real estate development firm, one of the largest in North America, which owns over US$ 8 billion in real estate assets and market capitalization has been shifting its focus from North America to European development projects such as Central Europe's largest mixed-use facility, The Westend City Center breaking ground in 1999. Situated on prime real estate in downtown Budapest next to the historic Western railway station designed by the noted French architect Gustav Eiffel.

He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993. Also in 1993, he shared The Northern Miner’s Mining Man of the Year award with partner Robert Smith. In 1999, he was named Canadian International Executive of the Year by the Canadian Council for International Business and was presented a Lifetime Achievement award by the Toronto Stock Exchange and Mining Works for Canada.

- See the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for more detail
- Read a great book review of "The Making of a Modern Tycoon" by Dan Healing of the Edmonton Sun
- Buy "Golden Phoenix: The Biography of Peter Munk" by Richard Rohmer

Henrietta SzoldHenrietta Szold (b. 12/21/1860 Baltimore - d. 2/13/1945, Jerusalem)
Founder of Hadassah

Henrietta Szold's father was a Rabbi. After graduating from public high school in 1877 she taught French, German, Latin, science, mathematics, and history at the Misses Adams' School girls' academy in Baltimore for 15 years. Having studied Hebrew and the Talmud with her father, she also taught classes in her father's synagogue. In 1889 she organized a night class in American history and customs for newly arrived Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe, and the experiment was so successful that several more classes were formed to meet the demand. In 1893 she helped a Baltimore immigrant group organize Hebras Zion, perhaps the first Zionist society in America. After the death of her father in 1902 she and her mother moved to New York City, where she took courses at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

A trip abroad in 1909, including a visit to Palestine, confirmed Szold in the belief that the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was of overriding importance. On her return to New York she involved herself more deeply in Zionist activities, becoming secretary of the Federation of American Zionists in 1910. On Purim (February 24) in 1912 she led the women of her Hadassah Study Circle, to which she had belonged since 1907, in forming the Hadassah Chapter of Daughters of Zion, known from its first national convention simply as Hadassah. The organization sent a team of two public health nurses to Palestine in 1913.

Szold traveled widely to organize chapters of Hadassah. Through the efforts of Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Judge Julian W. Mack she was provided a modest income in 1916 that allowed her to resign from the Jewish Publication Society and to devote full time to Zionist work. In 1918 she led in organizing the American Zionist Medical Unit--sponsored jointly by Hadassah, the Zionist Organization of America, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee--and in forwarding its 44 doctors, nurses, other health personnel, and some 400 tons of equipment and supplies to Palestine.

In 1920 Szold went to Palestine herself. She worked indefatigably for three years to supervise and to raise funds for the Unit, which in 1922 was reorganized as the Hadassah Medical Organization. She also organized and became first president of the Histadrut Nashim Ivriot (Jewish Women's Organization). She returned to the United States in 1923. In 1926 she resigned as president of Hadassah, and she was again in Palestine in 1927-30 and from 1931 to her death. In 1931-33 she served in the Vaad Leumi, the executive committee of the Knesset Israel (Palestinian Jewish National Assembly). From its creation in 1933 she was director of the Youth Aliyah, an agency created to rescue Jewish children from Nazi Germany and bring them to Palestine. Late in life she founded Lemaan ha-Yeled, an institution dedicated to child welfare and research; after her death it was renamed Mosad Szold (The Szold Foundation). Szold died in Jerusalem, in the Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital she had helped make possible, on February 13, 1945.

Kati MartonKati Marton (b.,Hungary, 195?)
Acclaimed journalist & best-selling author

As a child in her native Hungary, Kati Marton saw both parents imprisoned as spies. Her mother was a reporter for United Press International (UPI), her father a reporter for the Associated Press (AP). After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, they managed to emigrate to the United States.Marton has spent two decades writing and reporting from around the globe. She was Bureau Chief and Foreign Correspondent for ABC News, reporting from Poland, East and West Germany, Italy and Northern Ireland. She was a reporter for National Public Radio in Washington where she was involved with the development of NPR’s program, All Things Considered. For years Marton hosted America and the World, a weekly half-hour broadcast on international affairs for NPR. Kati Marton has successfully combined a career as a reporter and writer with human rights advocacy. Contributing to major news organizations such as ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio, Atlantic Monthly, The Times of London and The New Republic, she has covered everything from terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland to the peace efforts in the Middle East and the Balkans. Drawing compassion from her journalistic experiences in many of the political hotbeds of the globe, Marton is actively involved in humanitarian causes and was Chief of Outreach at the United Nations, where she was the primary advocate for children in war zones for the Secretary General of the U.N. Marton was Bonn Bureau Chief and Foreign Correspondent for ABC News and covered Breznyev's visit to East Germany.

Marton is currently a director and formerly chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization founded to monitor abuses against the press and promote press freedom around the world. She also serves on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch’s Europe-Central Asia Advisory Committee, the New America Foundation and the Central European University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, P.E.N. International and the Author’s Guild.

An accomplished writer, her books include Wallenburg, An American Woman and The Polk Conspiracy: Murder and Cover-up in the Case of CBS News Correspondent George Polk (which is being developed into a feature film by Mel Gibson) and A Death in Jerusalem: The Assassination by Extremists of the First Middle East Peacemaker. Marton has received several honors for her reporting, including a fellowship at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, and a Peabody award for her one-hour documentary on China. Most recently, Marton was awarded the Marc H. Tanenbaum Foundation for the Advancement of Inter-religious Understanding Media Bridge-Builder Award, Greece-based Kayriazis Foundation prize for the promotion of press freedom and the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications, Inc. 

Marton attended Wells College in Aurora, NY, the Sorbonne, and the Institute des Etudes de Science Politiques in Paris. Ms. Marton was awarded a BA in Romance Languages and an MA in International Relations from George Washington University in 1971. After her divorce from ABC's Peter Jennings, Marton married Richard Holbrooke, the Special Envoy and Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, and lives in New York City with her children, Elizabeth and Christopher.

- Hire her for a speech at
- Buy her books at

Nicholas Deák
Banker, Finanacier. Received the surrender of the Japanese in Burma in WWII.  Founder of Deak-Perera, the nation's "oldest and largest foreign exchange and precious metals investment firm.

Nicholas Deak once owned the Bank of Vienna (established in 1890) which became part of the Anglo Irish Bank Group in 1995.  He also founded Deak Bank and Deak-Perera, the nation's "oldest and largest foreign exchange and precious metals investment firm until its sale in 1985." 

His books include "International Banking" and "The Deak-Perera Group Story"

Robert Deák
Banker, Financier
and Father of the Secured Credit Card

Nicholas Deak's son, Robert, of Scarsdale, New York, served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Deak-Perera. He was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American National Bank of New York, the originator of the Secured Credit Card. Managing Director of National Loan Recoveries, LLC, one of the leading receivables management companies in the United States.

See his site: The Credit Card Information Center

Charles GatiCharles Gati (b. 1934, Budapest)
Political Scientist, Author, Foreign Policy Advisor, Professor

Charles Gati fled Hungary after the failed 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fight. He is currently a lecturer in American foreign policy at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Senior Adjunct Professor of European Studies; FPI Fellow. Former senior adviser with the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. Department of State; former professor at Union College and Columbia University; and served on the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also senior vice president of Interinvest, a global money management firm. He received his Ph.D., international relations from Indiana University. He is author of numerous books and periodicals.

In his book, "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents'" he researched newly de-classified documentation concerning Radio Free Europe broadcasts during the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Soviets and confirmed what many Hungarians remembered and others suspected: that commentators encouraged the Hungarians to battle on in the false understanding that they would receive reinforcements from the West. The US repeated this horrible mistake after the first Gulf Wart in Iraq. Gati said the Hungarian government had made some progress, but not enough. "You can open up a controversial event and think you've done your job. But the daily activities of a police state don't emerge from a sensational event -- a lot of Hungarians want to understand the sociology of a police state," he said.

- Read about his book on 1956 (in Hungarian) or buy it on Amazon

Fodor's GuideEugene Fodor (b. 10/14/1905, Leva, Hungary, d. 2/18/1991)
Famed Travel Writer of "Fodor's Travel Guides" - the world's largest English language travel guidebook publisher!

Fodor created a series of popular tourist guidebooks providing historical background & cultural insights into people & places described. His first book, On the Continent (1936), is a best-seller in Europe & the US. Since then, he has published over 400 travel guides for the farthest reaches of our planet. Fodor's publishes 14 different series for every kind of traveler. His travel network at is over 700 strong

- book travel and more on
- search his catalogue
- buy books on Amazon

Theo Herzl Theodor Herzl (b. 5/2/1860, Budapest d. 1904) 
Founder of the Zionist Movement

Young Herzl was educated in the spirit of the German-Jewish "Enlightenment." The family moved to Vienna in 1878 after the death of his sister. He received a doctorate in law in 1884 and worked for a short while in courts in Vienna and Salzburg. Within a year, he left law and devoted himself to writing, for which he had demonstrated ability from an early age.

In 1891 he became Paris correspondent for the New Free Press (Vienna), the influential liberal newspaper of the time. Herzl was in Paris to witness the rise of anti-Semitism which resulted from the court martial of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, who was divested of his rank. After considering a number of possibilities, Herzl became convinced that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the mass exodus of Jews from their places of residence. Originally he wrote that it didn't matter where Jews went. He eventually felt that a national home in Palestine was the answer.

He published a pamphlet, The Jewish State in 1896. Although others had suggested solutions to anti-Semitism, Herzl was the first to call for immediate political action. Jewish reaction to his plan was mixed. Many Jews rejected it as too extreme, although there were those who responded with enthusiasm and asked him to head what was to become the Zionist movement. He succeeded in convening the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, August 29-31, 1897. The congress adopted the Basle Program and established the World Zionist Organization to help create the economic foundation for the proposed Jewish state. Herzl was elected president of the organization and chaired the first six Zionist congresses. He spent much of his time in his remaining years meeting with world leaders, both Jewish and non-Jewish, trying to enlist financial and political support for his dream of a Jewish state. He died in 1904 before his dream could become reality.

In 1949 his remains were transferred to a mountain in western Jerusalem which became Mount Herzl, and is today a major military cemetery.

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