Famous Hungarian Men

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Hungarian men have earned a reputation for being the handsomest in Eastern Europe. With a warm heart and hospitable nature, they come across as good natured individuals with warrior traits but polite and cultivated mannerism. A natural intelligence is common to all Hungarian men, which best explains the plethora of notable Hungarian males that the world has been exposed to. Be it in the field of art and entertainment or science and technology, commerce and business or history and politics, Hungarian men have been everywhere.

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 1 
John von Neumann
(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)
John von Neumann
14
Birthdate: December 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 8, 1957
Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
 2 
Franz Liszt
(Composer, Pianist and Teacher of the Romantic Era)
Franz Liszt
9
Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raiding, Austria
Died: July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, conductor, arranger, music teacher, and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. Considered one of the greatest pianists ever, Liszt's works influenced his contemporaries and successors alike. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his work as a teacher, although his rich body of work might suggest otherwise; he taught people like Karl Klindworth among other pianists.

 3 
Ferenc Puskás
(Football player Forward, Attacking Midfielder)
Ferenc Puskás
11
Birthdate: April 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: November 17, 2006
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 4 
Bela Bartok
(One of the Most Important Composers of the 20th Century)
Bela Bartok
7
Birthdate: March 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sânnicolau Mare, Romania
Died: September 26, 1945

Bela Bartok was a Hungarian pianist, composer, and ethnomusicologist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent composers, Bartok is also counted among Hungary's greatest composers of all time. He is credited with co-founding comparative musicology, which came to be known as ethnomusicology.

 5 
Paul Erdős
(Mathematician)
Paul Erdős
6
Birthdate: March 26, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: September 20, 1996

Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős spent most of his childhood at home, due to his mother’s overprotectiveness after his sisters died of scarlet fever. Known for his eccentricity, he used his own vocabulary. His contributions include the Ramsey theory, and he skipped many university job offers to continue working independently.

 6 
Harry Houdini
(Illusionist and Stunt Performer Known for His Sensational Escape Acts)
Harry Houdini
23
Birthdate: March 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 31, 1926

Legendary magician Harry Houdini initially worked as a trapeze artist named “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air” and was later known for his iconic stunt of escaping from handcuffs, at times even under water and while buried alive. He died after a blow to the gut damaged his appendix.

 7 
Tommy Ramone
(Best Known as the Drummer for the Influential Punk Rock Band the ‘Ramones’)
Tommy Ramone
4
Birthdate: January 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 11, 2014

Tommy Ramone was a Hungarian-American record producer, musician, and songwriter. For four years, he served as the drummer for the punk rock band the Ramones. The band was often cited as the first true punk rock group and was highly influential. Even though he left the group in the late 1970s, he maintained good relations with his former bandmates. 

 8 
Ignaz Semmelweis
(Physician)
Ignaz Semmelweis
7
Birthdate: July 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tabán, Budapest, Hungary
Died: August 13, 1865

Almost 2 decades before germ theory was laid down, Ignaz Semmelweis became the first physician to suggest that hand-washing could prevent the spread of puerperal fever and related deaths. Ironically, after being ridiculed for his theory, he died in a mental asylum, due to an infection from a wound.

 9 
Joseph Pulitzer
(Journalist & Publisher)
Joseph Pulitzer
7
Birthdate: April 10, 1847
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Makó
Died: October 29, 1911

Joseph Pulitzer was a newspaper publisher who became a national figure in the Democratic Party after crusading against corruption and big business. Pulitzer is also credited with founding the Columbia School of Journalism. The world-renowned Pulitzer Prizes, which are awarded annually to reward excellence in various fields, are named in his honor.

 10 
Bela Lugosi
(Best Known for His Role as 'Count Dracula' in the 1939 Film ‘Son of Frankenstein’)
Bela Lugosi
6
Birthdate: October 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lugoj, Romania
Died: August 16, 1956
Hungarian-American actor Bela Lugosi is best remembered for his iconic performance as Dracula on Broadway and in the 1931 film of the same name, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. He also appeared in films such as The Black Cat, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein, along with Boris Karloff.
 11 
Robert Capa
(Photographer, Photojournalist)
Robert Capa
5
Birthdate: October 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: May 25, 1954

Robert Capa was a Hungarian-American photojournalist and war photographer. Regarded as the greatest adventure and combat photographer of all time, Robert Capa is best remembered for covering five major wars, namely Second Sino-Japanese War, Spanish Civil War, World War II, First Indochina War, and the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In 1947, he was honored with the prestigious Medal of Freedom.

 12 
Peter Lorre
(Best Known for His Role as the Psychotic Child Murderer in the Thriller Film ‘M’)
Peter Lorre
13
Birthdate: June 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ružomberok, Slovakia
Died: March 23, 1964
Hungarian-American actor Peter Lorre went from stage-acting in Vienna to working in films in Germany. He soared to fame with the films M and The Man Who Knew Too Much. He left Germany during the Nazi rule. Fans loved him as Le Chiffre in the TV version of Casino Royale.
 13 
Mickey Hargitay
(Hungarian-American Actor and the 1955 Mr. Universe)
Mickey Hargitay
7
Birthdate: January 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 14, 2006
Former Mr.Universe, Mickey Hargitay made his way into showbiz with Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Husband of actress Jayne Mansfield, he was also a proficient football player. He earned the Joe Weider Lifetime Achievement Award; he was the first one to recieve that honor. During World War II, he was an underground fighter.
 14 
Georg Solti
(Hungarian-British Orchestral and Operatic Conductor Who has appeared With Opera Companies in Munich, Frankfurt and London)
Georg Solti
3
Birthdate: October 21, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 5, 1997

Georg Solti was an operatic and orchestral conductor. He is best remembered for his association with opera companies in London, Frankfurt, and Munich. He also worked with the popular Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he served as a music director for a long time. Solti became the subject of a 1987 biographical TV documentary titled This Is Your Life.

 15 
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790)
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
12
Birthdate: March 13, 1741
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 20, 1790

Joseph II reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1765, and as the sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780, until 1790. Son of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, and brother of Marie Antoinette, he laid down policies now known as Josephinism. He died without heirs.

 16 
Erno Rubik
(Inventor)
Erno Rubik
6
Birthdate: July 13, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest

A professor of design and architecture, Erno Rubik is the man behind the Rubik’s Cube. The Hungarian inventor himself took a month to solve his Rubik’s Cube puzzle, before marketing it worldwide as a popular game. He later also invented Rubik’s Magic and now promotes problem solving and mathematics. 

 17 
Otto Preminger
(Director and Producer Best Known for His Film ‘Anatomy of a Murder’)
Otto Preminger
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vyzhnytsya, Ukraine
Died: April 23, 1986

While he initially wished to follow in his prosecutor father’s footsteps to be a lawyer, Otto Preminger later discovered his love for theater. A master stage director, he later signed with Fox as one of its first independent filmmakers. He soared to fame with the 1944 film Laura.  

 18 
Marcel Breuer
(Architect & Furniture Designer)
Marcel Breuer
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pécs, Austria-Hungary
Died: July 1, 1981
Hungarian architect and furniture designer Marcel Breuer was a major figure of the International Style of design. His innovative designs made use of new technology and materials, such as steel furniture resembling the designs of bicycle handle bars, also known as the Wassily chair. He inspired the documentary Breuer's Bohemia.
 19 
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor (1433 - 1437))
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1368
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: December 9, 1437

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the king of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 to 1437. He also served as the king of Germany, king of Bohemia, king of Italy, and emperor of the Romans. Sigismund is best remembered for playing a key role in bringing about the Council of Constance, which ended the Papal Schism.   

 20 
Matthias Corvinus
(King of Hungary and Croatia (1458 - 1490))
Matthias Corvinus
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1443
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Died: April 6, 1490

The second son of military leader János Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus ruled as the king of Hungary and Croatia in the 15th century. He introduced several financial and other administrative reforms to reunite Hungary after a long period of anarchy. He also established the Black Army of Hungary and patronized the arts and sciences.

 21 
Attila Csihar
(Vocalist)
Attila Csihar
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Starting his music career with the Hungarian metal band Tormentor, Attila Csihar also worked with the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem after the suicide of its lead vocalist. Not known to many, the black metal vocalist is an electrical engineer and has also taught math and physics before venturing into music.

 22 
László Bíró
(Inventor)
László Bíró
1
Birthdate: September 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: October 24, 1985

Starting his career as a journalist, László Bíró also tried his hand at Surrealist painting in his early days. Trying to come up with a writing device that would use a fast-drying ink type, he invented the ballpoint pen. Invited by the Argentine government, he set up his pen manufacturing company there.

 23 
Gyorgy Ligeti
(One of the Most Important Avant-Garde Composers of the 20th Century)
Gyorgy Ligeti
1
Birthdate: May 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Târnăveni, Romania
Died: June 11, 2006

Being a descendant of violinist Leopold Auer, Hungarian-Austrian composer Gyorgy Ligeti was no stranger to music in childhood. He lost his entire family, except his mother, to the Holocaust, but that didn’t prevent him from studying music later. He rose to be a legend of avant-garde music.

 24 
Count of St. Germain
(European Adventurer and Philosopher)
Count of St. Germain
1
Birthdate: 1691 AD
Birthplace: Sárospatak, Hungary
Died: February 27, 1784

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.

 25 
Imre Nagy
(Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic (1953 – 1955))
Imre Nagy
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kaposvár, Hungary
Died: June 16, 1958

Imre Nagy was a Hungarian politician who served as the third chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic. He also served as the 44th prime minister of Hungary. In 1956, Nagy played an influential role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 where he led the Revolution against the government, for which he was executed in 1958.

 26 
János Áder
(President of Hungary)
János Áder
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Csorna

Hungarian president János Áder was born in the small town Csorna and is a qualified lawyer. His first step into politics was as a law expert of the liberal-democratic party Fidesz. He has previously been the Speaker of the National Assembly. The father of four is married to a judge.

 27 
John Hunyadi
(Politician)
John Hunyadi
0
Birthdate: 1406 AD
Birthplace: Transylvania, Romania
Died: August 11, 1456

Transylvania-born Hungarian military general John Hunyadi had also been the country’s governor. Remembered for his role in the battles of Kosovo and Varna, he eventually succumbed to a plague outbreak, though he went down in history for his valiant exploits against the Turks and is now a legend even in Romania and Bulgaria.

 28 
Michael Curtiz
(Film Director)
Michael Curtiz
5
Birthdate: December 24, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: April 10, 1962
 29 
Béla Tarr
(Screenwriter, Film director)
Béla Tarr
1
Birthdate: July 21, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pécs

Legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr initially relied on cinema verité to portray the lives of ordinary people in his films. He later gained international fame with iconic films such as Sátántangó and even launched a film school in Sarajevo. He is also known for his signature long takes and long-running movies.

 30 
Muhammad Asad
(For English Translation of Quran, 'The Message of The Qur'an")
Muhammad Asad
1
Birthdate: July 2, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: February 20, 1992

Austro-Hungarian journalist Leopold Weiss was a descendant of rabbis and ran away from home in his teens, taking up odd jobs, before finally becoming a journalist in Germany. His work took him to the Middle East, where he converted to Islam and adopted the name Muhammad Asad.

 31 
György Lukács
(Hungarian Marxist Philosopher, Literary Historian and One of the Founders of Western Marxism)
György Lukács
2
Birthdate: April 13, 1885
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 4, 1971

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.

 32 
László Moholy-Nagy
(Photographer)
László Moholy-Nagy
0
Birthdate: July 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bácsborsód
Died: November 24, 1946

Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy was known for his non-representational art and his love for constructivism. Though he initially studied law, he later experimented with many forms of art, such as painting, sculpting, and photography. He also taught at the Bauhaus school of avant-garde design and co-edited the Bauhausbook series.

 33 
Karl Polanyi
(Economist, Anthropologist, Economic historian, Historian, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Sociologist)
Karl Polanyi
0
Birthdate: October 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: April 23, 1964

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.

 34 
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Holy Roman Emperor)
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
5
Birthdate: June 9, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 5, 1705

Second son of Emperor Ferdinand III, Leopold I became the heir apparent to his father’s throne on the death of his elder brother in 1654, being coroneted as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1658. Although he received little training for the throne, Austria became a great European power during his reign, emerging victorious in struggles against Ottoman Empire and France.

 35 
Andras Schiff
(Pianist)
Andras Schiff
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Born to Holocaust survivors, Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff began learning the piano at age 5. He is now best known for his interpretations of legends such as of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. His numerous awards include a Grammy. He was also knighted for his achievements.

 36 
Márton Fucsovics
(Tennis player)
Márton Fucsovics
0
Birthdate: February 8, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nyíregyháza, Hungary
 37 
Charles Simonyi
(Astronaut, Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer)
Charles Simonyi
0
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest

A Stanford PhD, Charles Simonyi initially worked on one of the world’s first computers for Xerox. He is best known for developing Microsoft Office. Though he launched his own firm, Intentional Software, he later sold it to Microsoft. Part of the Forbes Billionaires 2021 list, he also donates extensively to educational charitable causes.

 38 
Michu Meszaros
(Best remembered as a performer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus)
Michu Meszaros
1
Birthdate: October 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 12, 2016

Known for his 2’9” frame, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros initially gained fame in the Hungarian National Circus and later as part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He is best remembered for his portrayal of an alien, wearing a full-body costume, in the NBC series ALF.

 39 
Zoltan Kodaly
(Hungarian Composer and Creator of the ‘Kodály Method’ of Music Education)
Zoltan Kodaly
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kecskemét, Hungary
Died: March 6, 1967

Hungarian composer and folk music legend Zoltan Kodaly pioneered what is known as the Kodály method of music education. His style reflected a fusion of Hungarian, Italian, and French tunes. His music originated from years of research on folk music in Hungarian villages, leading to his thesis on the same.

 40 
Lajos Kossuth
(Governor-President of the Kingdom of Hungary (April 1849 - August 1849))
Lajos Kossuth
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1802
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monok, Hungary
Died: March 20, 1894

Born into a noble family, Lajos Kossuth grew up to be one of his country’s greatest political reformers. He initially followed in his father’s footsteps to become a lawyer and later entered national politics to become the governor-president of Hungary. He is remembered for his role in the Hungarian Revolution.

 41 
Stephen I of Hungary
(The First King of Hungary (1000 - 1038))
Stephen I of Hungary
0
Birthdate: 0975 AD
Birthplace: Esztergom, Hungary
Died: August 15, 1038

A legendary figure in Hungarian history, Stephen I was the first king of Hungary. Part of the Árpád dynasty and son of Magyar chief Géza, Stephen was born a Pagan but was later baptized as a Christian. He built many monasteries, encouraged trade, and maintained peace in his kingdom.

 42 
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1527
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 12, 1576

Maximilian II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death in 1576.  A member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, he was the eldest son of the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand I and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary. He was the nephew of Emperor Charles V. As the king, he adopted a policy of religious neutrality.

 43 
S. Z. Sakall
(Hungarian-American Actor)
S. Z. Sakall
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 12, 1955

Renowned character actor S. Z. Sakall lost all of his 3 sisters in Nazi concentration camps. A talented stage actor in both Austria and Germany, he later gained international fame with his roles in movies such as Casablanca and Ball of Fire. He earned the nickname Cuddles for his affable appearance.

 44 
László Polgár
(Chess player, Writer)
László Polgár
0
Birthdate: May 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gyöngyös, Hungary
 45 
Károly Takács
(Olympic shooter)
Károly Takács
0
Birthdate: January 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: January 5, 1976
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
1
Birthdate: July 13, 1608
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz
Died: April 2, 1657

Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III is largely held responsible for ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 with 2 peace treaties known as the Peace of Westphalia. He also conspired against Generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein when he was denied control of the imperial army. He was also instrumental in the Peace of Prague.

 47 
Miklós Fehér
(Footballer)
Miklós Fehér
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tatabánya
Died: January 25, 2004
 48 
Thomas Szasz
(Psychiatrist)
Thomas Szasz
1
Birthdate: April 15, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 8, 2012

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.

 49 
Miklós Rózsa
(Composer)
Miklós Rózsa
1
Birthdate: April 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 27, 1995

Born in Hungary, Miklós Rózsa was a music prodigy and learned to play the violin at age 5. After studying music in Germany, he pursued his music career in France, the UK, and the US. He is remembered for his Academy Award-winning scores in movies such as Ben-Hur and Spellbound.

 50 
Hans Selye
(Hungarian-Canadian Endocrinologist Known for His Studies of the Effects of Stress on the Human Body)
Hans Selye
0
Birthdate: January 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 16, 1982
Born to a doctor father, Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye grew up to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 17 times but never won it. He is remembered for his ground-breaking work the medical impact of stress on the human body, also known as stress response.

And if you don’t believe us, take this. Who invented the helicopter? Who gave the world the power of binoculars? Rubik’s Cube was the brainchild of which inventor? Who discovered Vitamin C? Who helped in Intel’s transformation as world’s largest manufacture of semiconductors? Imagine writing your exam paper without a ballpoint pen! Each of the above was a Hungarian man who through his vision and belief made the world a better place to live in. And that is not all, for Hungary is also home to thirteen Nobel Laureates in the fields of literature, chemistry, physics, medicine and economics. To know more about famous Hungarian men, their life and works, happy reading!