The first Hungarian beauty queen Böske Simon (middle) at the Miss Europe Contest (

Achieving something in the field of science, sport, engineering, etc. is always an extraordinary thing, especially if it is the first significant discovery or result in the history of the world or the nation. These five famous Hungarians below ensured that their names would not be forgotten in the history of the country. They were the first ones who achieved something great in their field; something no one has ever achieved before them.

Emília Aranyváry (1839–1868)

The first Hungarian dancer and choreographer

Hungary’s first professional ballet dancer and choreographer was born in a wealthy family and danced since the first day she saw the sunlight. Her first trainer was the French François Crambé who was the choreographer of the Hungarian-German Theatre in the capital city. After her first tutor, her father decided to send her daughter to Paris to learn from more excellent masters.

After many lessons and hard work, Aranyváry debuted in the National Theatre in Budapest, 1848 with great success.

She left the country to try herself in foreign countries. For many years she danced in Paris and was a guest performer in London and Vienna. She returned in 1854 and signed a life-long contract with the Hungarian National Theatre. Dancing in the capital and the countryside, Aranyváry was considered to be the best in the golden era of the Hungarian ballet. In 1868, among mysterious circumstances, she suddenly disappeared and was never seen again.

Emília Aranyváry, Hungarian, first, history
Photo: Wikimedia Commons (National Széchényi Library Digital Archive)

András Csonka (1852–1939)

The inventor of the first Hungarian motorcycle and motorboat

On January 22, Csonka was born as the seventh child in his family. From an early age, he examined carefully when his father worked in his forge and decided to become an engineer. He was an excellent student and spoke German and Latin fluently. Besides his studies, he was keen on examining different kinds of machines and the shifts in engineering.

In 1893, he and his fellow engineer Donát Bánki invented the carburetor and their invention spread across the world with sensation.

Csonka was also enthusiastic about designing and building new types of vehicles. By his great effort and exceptional mind, the first Hungarian automobile, motorcycle, motorboat, motor-tricycle, and postal car were constructed in the early 1900s.


Mária Vendl (1890–1945)

The first Hungarian professor and scientist

Vendl was born in Ditró (today: Gyergyóditró, Transylvania) and dedicated her life to the scientific research of minerals and rocks. After graduating from university, she continued her research and taught in two elementary schools. Because of her hard work and exemplary research, the National Museum of Hungary hired her and Vendl became the first female scientist in the institution.

In December 1925, she was the first Hungarian female whose research was presented in front of the council – consisted of only men – of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In 1934, she became the first female professor in Hungary and started to give lessons at the University of Debrecen (Hajdú-Bihar County). Besides researching the Hungarian rocks and minerals, she also achieved significant successes abroad.

Mária Vendl, Hungarian, first, history
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Böske Simon (1909–1970)

The first Hungarian beauty queen

Born as Erzsébet Simon in Keszthely (Zala County), she was the daughter of Hungarian-Jewish parents. Her beauty was discovered at an early age as the sixteen-year-old Simon was chosen as the most beautiful girl of Keszthely, then of the Lake Balaton. The real breakthrough in her career came when she got the opportunity to take part in the first Miss Hungary competition in 1929.

Out of two hundred and eighteen competitors, Simon became the most beautiful woman in Hungary. In the same year, she took part in the European competition (Miss Europe) which she also won.

After winning the competitions in her homeland and on the continent the next step was the international Miss Universe in the United States, but Simon refused to participate. Instead, she returned to Hungary, where many people celebrated her and considered the beauty queen as the saviour and positivity of the country after World War I and Trianon. Although many other people mocked Simon because of her Jewish origins, she survived the Holocaust and died peacefully in 1970, in Budapest.

Böske Simon, Hungarian, first, history

Győző Kovács (1933–2012)

The inventor of the first Hungarian computer

After graduating from grammar school in 1950, the young Kovács could not attend a university because of his origins. He had to work one year as a common skilled-worker before beginning his studies at the University of Technology and Economics in Budapest.

In 1957, he invented the first Hungarian computer which was a major breakthrough in the history of Hungarian science. Two years later, he officially became the director of the first Hungarian computer-centre in the capital.

With his invention, hard work, and several studies and researches, Kovács is considered to be the father of Hungarian computer science and the engineer who made this field popular in the country.

Győző Kovács, Hungarian, first, history

Source: National Geographic, Wikipedia,,,

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