The Most Famous

FENCERS from Hungary

Icon of occuation in country

This page contains a list of the greatest Hungarian Fencers. The pantheon dataset contains 349 Fencers, 35 of which were born in Hungary. This makes Hungary the birth place of the 3rd most number of Fencers behind France, and Italy.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Hungarian Fencers of all time. This list of famous Hungarian Fencers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Hungarian Fencers.

Photo of Ilona Elek

1. Ilona Elek (1907 - 1988)

With an HPI of 55.88, Ilona Elek is the most famous Hungarian Fencer.  Her biography has been translated into 28 different languages on wikipedia.

Ilona Elek, known also as Ilona Elek-Schacherer (née “Elek"; May 17, 1907 – July 24, 1988) was a Hungarian Olympic fencer. Elek won more international fencing titles than any other woman.

Photo of Pál Kovács

2. Pál Kovács (1912 - 1995)

With an HPI of 51.96, Pál Kovács is the 2nd most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Pál Kovács (17 July 1912 – 8 July 1995) was a Hungarian athlete, who began as a hurdler, but eventually switched to fencing. By the time Kovács won his first fencing gold, in 1936, he had already been a member of the winning Hungarian team at the 1933 World Championships. The Hungarians won team sabre gold in five successive Olympics, lasting from 1936 until 1960. The same team won gold eight back-to-back world championships (including the two Olympics, which double as world championships in their respective years). Kovács also won individual gold in 1952, as well as individual bronze in 1948. In 1980, he became vice-president of the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime. He died in Budapest in July 1995.

Photo of Rudolf Kárpáti

3. Rudolf Kárpáti (1920 - 1999)

With an HPI of 50.31, Rudolf Kárpáti is the 3rd most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Rudolf Kárpáti (17 July 1920 – 1 February 1999) was a fencer from Hungary, who won six gold medals in sabre at four Olympic Games (1948–1960). He also won seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the world championships. For his achievements he was named Hungarian Sportsman of the year in 1959 and 1960. Kárpáti graduated from the National Conservatory majoring in the history of music; he was also an accomplished violinist and the artistic director of the People’s Army Central Artistic Ensemble (1961–1986). Besides fencing and music, he was an employee at the Hungarian State Credit Bank and an officer with the Hungarian Army – he retired as Colonel, and later in 1990 was promoted to Major General.Kárpáti was a member of the Hungarian Fencing Federation from 1961 to 1991. After retiring from competitions, in 1977 he became president of the Budapest Fencing Federation and an administrator with the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime.

Photo of János Garay

4. János Garay (1889 - 1945)

With an HPI of 50.10, János Garay is the 4th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

János Garay (23 February 1889 – 21 April 1945) was a Jewish Hungarian fencer, and one of the best sabre fencers in the world in the 1920s. Gaining international recognition in Olympic sabre competition, he distinguished himself winning a gold medal in 1928 in Amsterdam, and a silver and bronze medal in 1924 in Paris.

Photo of Ildikó Újlaky-Rejtő

5. Ildikó Újlaky-Rejtő (b. 1937)

With an HPI of 49.28, Ildikó Újlaky-Rejtő is the 5th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  Her biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Ildikó Rejtő (also known as Györgyné Sági, formerly Jenőné Újlaky; born 11 May 1937) is a retired Hungarian two-time Olympic and five-time World Champion foil fencer.

Photo of Oszkár Gerde

6. Oszkár Gerde (1883 - 1944)

With an HPI of 48.99, Oszkár Gerde is the 6th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Dr. Oszkár Gerde (8 July 1883 – 8 October 1944) was a Hungarian sabre fencer who won team gold medals at the 1908 and 1912 Olympics. After finishing his active career he judged international fencing competitions and worked as a lawyer. Being a Jew, he was deported from Hungary in 1944, and killed in the same year at the Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in Austria. In 1989 he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Photo of Attila Petschauer

7. Attila Petschauer (1904 - 1943)

With an HPI of 48.84, Attila Petschauer is the 7th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Attila Petschauer (14 December 1904 – 30 January 1943) was a Hungarian Olympic champion sabre fencer of Jewish heritage.

Photo of Győző Kulcsár

8. Győző Kulcsár (1940 - 2018)

With an HPI of 48.58, Győző Kulcsár is the 8th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Győző Kulcsár (18 October 1940 – 19 September 2018) was a Hungarian fencer. He competed in the individual and team épée events at the 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics and won four gold (one individual and three team) and two individual bronze medals. He also won three world titles with the Hungarian team, in 1970, 1971 and 1978.After retiring from competitions Kulcsár worked as a fencing coach, in Hungary (c. 1980–1988 and after 2001) and Italy (c. 1988–2000). His trainees include Tímea Nagy, Emese Szász and his nephew Krisztián Kulcsár.He died on 19 September 2018 at the age of 77.

Photo of Lajos Werkner

9. Lajos Werkner (1883 - 1943)

With an HPI of 48.19, Lajos Werkner is the 9th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Lajos Werkner (23 October 1883 – 12 November 1943) was a Hungarian Olympic champion sabre fencer.

Photo of György Piller

10. György Piller (1899 - 1960)

With an HPI of 47.83, György Piller is the 10th most famous Hungarian Fencer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

George Piller (born György Jekelfalussy-Piller) (June 19, 1899 – September 6, 1960) was an Olympic and world champion fencer from Hungary in the 1920s and 1930s who became an internationally respected world-class fencing master in Hungary and the United States in the 1950s.

People

Pantheon has 41 people classified as Hungarian fencers born between 1880 and 1997. Of these 41, 21 (51.22%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Hungarian fencers include Ildikó Újlaky-Rejtő, Tibor Pézsa, and Péter Bakonyi. The most famous deceased Hungarian fencers include Ilona Elek, Pál Kovács, and Rudolf Kárpáti. As of April 2024, 6 new Hungarian fencers have been added to Pantheon including Lajos Maszlay, István Lichteneckert, and Péter Bakonyi.

Living Hungarian Fencers

Go to all Rankings

Deceased Hungarian Fencers

Go to all Rankings

Newly Added Hungarian Fencers (2024)

Go to all Rankings

Overlapping Lives

Which Fencers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 18 most globally memorable Fencers since 1700.