Known as The Wonderman, 18th-century French adventurer Comte de Saint-Germain was also a talented musician, especially skilled in the violin, and a well-known chemist. Not only was he proficient in almost all European languages, he had traveled to places such as Russia, the Dutch Republic, and Germany.
Apart from being a political economist, Karl Polanyi was also a prominent Hungarian political leader. The Great Transformation remains his best-known work. He taught at institutes such as the Columbia University and is known for proposing the idea of a cultural version of economics known as substantivism.
A renowned international affairs strategist and geopolitical forecaster, George Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author, having penned works such as The Storm Before the Calm and The Next 100 Years. He has also headed Stratfor as its CEO and has worked with various US military and government organizations.
One of the pioneers of Western Marxism, Hungarian philosopher and literary critic György Lukács also taught at the University of Budapest and later became a major pillar of the Hungarian uprising. His best-known written works include Soul and Form and The Historical Novel, apart from his books on Goethe, Lenin, and Marx.
Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who spent most of life teaching at the State University of New York Health Science Center, was known for his controversial claim that mental illnesses aren’t illnesses at all. Part of the anti-psychiatry movement, he penned books such as The Myth of Mental Illness.
Gyula Andrássy not only served as Hungary’s prime minister but also created the 1879 the Austro-German alliance with German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. He remained associated with Hungarian public affairs even after his retirement. He was the first Magyar statesman to hold a long-term European position.
Sándor Ferenczi is best remembered for his research on free association and the psychoanalytic theory. Initially an army doctor, he specialized in subjects such as neuropathology and hypnosis. He was also close to Sigmund Freud and later taught at the University of Budapest. He also established the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society.
German sociologist Karl Mannheim, known for his contribution to the concepts of classical sociology and the sociology of knowledge, initially worked as a professor but later fled to the UK to escape the Nazi regime. He later joined the London School of Economics and remained there till his death.
Renowned Cambridge economist Nicholas Kaldor was one of the key figures in the post-Keynesian era of economics. He is best remembered for his contribution to the endogenous business cycle theory and the Cambridge version of the growth theory. He is also credited with coining the term convenience yield.
Hungarian philosopher and systems scientist Ervin Laszlo is best known for his support of the theory of quantum consciousness. The 2-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee has established organizations such as the Club of Budapest and the Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research. He was a piano prodigy in childhood.
Not only did István Tisza serve as the Hungarian prime minister, but he also supported the Austro-Hungarian dualist government. A qualified lawyer, he also had doctorate degrees in economics and political science and also dealt with macroeconomic issues. His father, Kálmán Tisza, too, had been the prime minister of Hungary.
Born in Hungary, Paul Halmos moved to the US with his family at 13. While he initially set out to complete a PhD in philosophy, he later focused on math. One of The Martians from Hungary, he is known for his contributions to areas such as logic, probability, and statistics.
Iconoclastic Hungarian-American historian and scholar John Lukacs spent most of his career teaching at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Known for his books such as The Hitler of History, he was a staunch anti-Communist and propagated liberal democracy. He headed the American Catholic Historical Association as its president.
A seasoned Hungarian economist, Gordon Bajnai has not just led his country as its prime minister but has also been associated with various investment and equity companies, such as CA IB Securities, the Wallis Group, Campbell Lutyens, and Meridiam. He is also a skilled soccer player.
A significant figure of the Budapest school of philosophy, Hungarian philosopher and educator Ágnes Heller lost her father at Auschwitz. She grew up to teach at the New School for Social Research for over 2 decades and is remembered for books such as Renaissance Man and The Theory of Need in Marx.
The first prime minister of Hungary who was democratically elected, József Antall was initially trained as a history teacher and museologist and had even taught at a grammar school in Budapest. Later banned from teaching for his role in the Hungarian uprising, he joined the Hungarian Democratic Forum.
Born to Jewish teacher parents in Hungary, Avram Hershko spent a few years in a concentration camp during World War II. He and his family managed to escape and settled in Israel, where he became a renowned chemist, later winning the Nobel Prize for discovering how cells remove unwanted proteins.
The son of Hungarian philosopher Bernhard Alexander, Franz Alexander grew up to become a physician and a pioneer of psychosomatic medicine. Known for his research on the role of emotional experience on physical illness, he also applied psychoanalytic principles to the study of criminal behavior.
One of the best-known figures of Hungarian literature, poet, author, and translator Ferenc Kazinczy made significant contribution to the development of the Hungarian language. A qualified lawyer and a civil servant, he was once also imprisoned for political conspiracy. He also co-founded the Hungarian Academy.
Hungarian historian Ladislas Farago is remembered for his books on war and spies, with the backdrop of World War II. Many of his books, such as The Broken Seal and Patton, later inspired movies. In 1972, he shocked everyone by claiming Martin Bormann was alive and was living as a businessman in Argentina.
Born into a Unitarian family, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely grew up to be a renowned philologist and philosopher. He ate and recommended raw and biogenic food. Though he claimed his The Essene Gospel of Peace was a work of translation, it was later revealed to be a work of forgery.
Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and ethnologist Géza Róheim is remembered for pioneering psychoanalytic anthropology, or the psychoanalytic approach to the study of culture. He worked amid Australian Aborigines and African tribes and also penned books such as Australian Totemism and Fire in the Dragon. He taught in New York and Budapest, too.
A Cistercian monk, Denis Farkasfalvy fled Hungary in the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and ended up in Texas, via Austria and Rome. Apart from serving as an abbot, in his later life, he penned several translations and original books, such as The Marian Mystery. He died of COVID-19 at age 83.
A historian and a poet, János Majláth is best known for his translation of Magyar folk tales into German. Initially home-schooled, he later studied philosophy and law and worked in public service, a job he obtained through his minister father. He worked and lived in Pest, Vienna, and Munich.
Apart from being one of the first female university graduates from Hungary, Valéria Dienes was a pioneering dancer and choreographer, who revolutionized the field of movement art. Initially interested in math, she later deviated to music and psychology, and eventually to dance, developing the orchestics system of movement.
Apart from being a Protestant clergyman, Péter Bod was also a renowned historian who penned one of the first-known works of literary history in Hungarian. Initially, his written works on the church were considered controversial. One of his best-known works remains Magyar Athenas, a detailed description of Hungarian scholarly history.
Born into a family of paprika farmers in Szeged, Hungary, Sándor Bálint was trained as a teacher and later taught ethnography at the Szeged University. He also studied various Roman Catholic traditions and penned works such as Szeged Dictionary, Hungarian Pilgrims, and Calendar of Religious Feasts.
Hungarian folklorist and ethnographer Vilmos Diószegi scripted history by editing the first Manchu-Tungus dictionary. His research interests included shamanism, and he traveled to places such as Siberia, Mongolia, Turkey, for his research. His best-known works include Tracing Shamans in Siberia and Shamanism in Hungarian Folk Culture.