The 10 Most Famous Hungarians

Hungary is the birthplace of many famous artists, intellectuals and celebrities; however even though they might have a global fame not everyone might know that they are actually Hungarian. Here’s our list of the 10 most famous Hungarians

1. Robert Capa

Robert Capa, whose real name is Endre Friedmann, is one of the most famous war photographers. He and his camera documented the biggest conflicts of the 1930s until the 1950s. Capa was born in Budapest in 1913, which at the time was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from Jewish parents. During the late 30s it was impossible for him to find any work due to his name and so he decided to change to a more American sounding name.

It's not enough to have talent, you also have to be Hungarian.” -Robert Capa

It’s not enough to have talent, you also have to be Hungarian.” -Robert Capa

2.ZsaZsa Gábor

ZsaZsa Gábor used to be one of the most beautiful Hollywood has ever seen. Her grace and elegance have never failed to impress anyone. Even though she is not very famous for her television and cinema roles, ZsaZsa is mostly known for her love life. Gábor got married nine times, she divorced seven times and one of her marriages was annulled. Her last husband is Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, whom stayed by her side during her latest health problems.

3. Cicciolina

World famous porn star and former Italian MP Ilona Staller is certainly one of the most famous people that was born in Budapest. Cicciolina appeared in 15 porn movies, recorded several songs and also had its own shows on an Italian radio station. Ilona Staller also appeared in many editions of Playboy, in different countries. She tried to run for mayor on different occasion, in Monza and Milan, however she never succeeded.

4. Harry Houdini

Have you ever heard of the amazing escapist Erik Weisz? No? Maybe because you just know him by his stage name Harry Houdini. Yes, Harry Houdini the famous magician, escapist, debunker, stunt performer and much more was Hungarian. Houdini was born in Budapest in 1874 from Jewish parents who during his early childhood moved to America, where he later became one of the most world famous magicians of all time.

5. Ferenc Puskás

Ferenc Puskás is considered to be one of the best footballers of all times. He led the Hungarian national team through its glory days and also he was one of the best top scorers Real Madrid has ever had. Among the many memorable achievements, Puskás managed to lead his team in an unforgettable game were the Mighty Magyars defeated the English national team 7-1.


6. Leo Szilárd

Leo Szilard is one of the most famous physicists of the world. Born in Budapest in 1898, Szilárd is the father of the nuclear chain reaction, electron microscope, linear accelerator and the cyclotron. Szilárd however is best known for collaborating with the Italian scientist Enrico Fermi on the patent of the nuclear reactor, and also being the conceive of the Manhattan Project.

7. Tommy Ramone

Another very famous Budapest born celebrity is Tamás Erdély, best known as Tommy Ramone. Tommy Ramone was born from a Jewish family, which similarly to many others fled the country in the 1950s. His family fled to America, looking for fortune and it is possible to say that Tommy certainly made it. Except for being the drummer of the world famous band Ramones until 1978, Tommy was also heavily involved in managing and production for his band and others, such as Jimi Hendrix. Tommy Ramone died of bile duct cancer in 2014.

8. Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály is the creator of the world famous “Kodály Method”, which is supposed to help understand and learn music better and faster. The Kodály Method is also considered to be very effective in other fields such as math. Zoltán Kodály was born in Budapest 1882.

9. Ernő Rubik

Ernő Rubik, as his last name suggest, is the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube. Next time you pick up one of those colorful puzzle and then you will put it beck down in disappointment, you will know that the man to blame for this popular game is a Budapest born architect. Ernő Rubik, who now is the president of the Hungarian Engineering Academy, continued making new games and also opened a design studio for new games and furniture.


10.Ferenc Liszt

Ferenc Liszt, mostly known as Franz Liszt, is one of the most famous Hungarian composers. He was born 1811, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire from a Hungarian family. Liszt, with his own innovative style, became one of the most prominent musicians of 19th century.