Hungary's Nobel Prize Winners

Philipp E. A. von Lenard     (1862-1947)  1905       Physics

Robert Bárány                   (1876-1936)  1914       Medicine

Richard A. Zsigmondy        (1865-1929)  1925       Chemistry

Albert von Szent-Györgyi  (1893-1986)  1937       Medicine

George de Hevesy             (1885-1966)   1943       Chemistry

Georg von Békésy             (1899-1972)   1961       Medicine

Eugene P. Wigner             (1902-1995)   1963       Physics

Dennis Gabor                    (1900-1979)   1971       Physics

John C. Polanyi                 (1930-)          1986       Chemistry

George A. Olah                  (1927-)          1994       Chemistry

John C. Harsanyi               (1920-2000)   1994       Economics

Imre Kertész                      (1929-)         2002       Literature

Avram Hershko                  (1937-)         2004       Chemistry


Philipp E. A. von Lenard

June 7, 1862, Pozsony - May 20, 1947, Messelhausen

Philippe Lenard (Fülöp Lénárd) received the 1905 Nobel Prize in Physics for "his work on cathode rays." He lived in Germany and did not consider himself a Hungarian.




Robert Bárány

April 22, 1876, Vienna - April 8, 1936, Uppsala

Robert (Róbert) Bárány received the 1914 Nobel Prize in Medicine "for his work on the physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus." He lived in Sweden.




 Richard A. Zsigmondy

April 1, 1865, Vienna - September 23, 1929, Göttingen

Richard (Richárd) Zsigmondy received the 1925 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his demonstration of the heterogeneous nature of colloid solutions and for the methods he used, which have since become fundamental in modern colloid chemistry." He lived in Germany.




Albert von Szent-Györgyi

September 16, 1893, Budapest - October 22, 1986, Woods Hole, MA

Albert Szent-Györgyi received the 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine "for his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C and the catalysis of fumaric acid." He was a professor at Szeged University in Hungary from 1928 to 1945, and moved to the United States in 1947.




George de Hevesy

August 1, 1885, Budapest - July 5, 1966, Freiburg im Breisgau

George de Hevesy (György Hevesy) received the 1943 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for "for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes." He lived in Germany, Denmark and Sweden.




Georg von Békésy

June 3, 1899, Budapest - June 12, 1972, Honolulu, HI

Georg von Békésy (György Békésy) received the 1961 Nobel Prize in Medicine "for his discoveries of the physical mechanism of stimulation within the cochlea." He lived in the United States.




Eugene P. Wigner

 November 17, 1902, Budapest - January 1, 1995, Princeton, NJ

Eugene Wigner (Jeno Wigner) received the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles." He lived in the United States.



Dennis Gabor

June 5, 1900, Budapest, - February 9, 1979, London

Dennis Gabor (Dénes Gábor) received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his invention and development of the holographic method." He lived in Great Britain.



  John C. Polanyi


January 23, 1929, Berlin -

John Polanyi (János Polányi) is the son of natural scientist Mihály Polányi. He shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes." He lives in Canada.




 George A. Olah

May 22, 1927, Budapest -

George Olah (György Oláh) received the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "for his contribution to carbocation chemistry." He lives in the United States.




John C. Harsanyi

May 29, 1920, Budapest - August 9, 2000, Berkeley, CA

John Harsanyi (János Harsányi) shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics for "pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games." Relying on the theory designed by his fellow prize-winners, he showed how to analyse games when information was incomplete, creating the foundation for "information economics". He lived in the United States.




November 9, 1929, Budapest -

Imre Kertész received the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history." His books centre on the horrors of the 20th century: hatred, genocide and the inhumanity in human souls.



 Avram Hershko

December 31, 1937, Karcag -

Avram (Ferenc  Ábrahám) Hershko received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004 jointly with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose "for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation". They have contributed ground-breaking chemical knowledge of how the cell can regulate the presence of a certain protein by marking unwanted proteins with a label consisting of the polypeptide ubiquitin. Avram Herschko lives in Israel.