ELECTED MEMBERS
   
Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
FERENC KEMENY (KAUFFMANN)
Sport: Official/Administrator
Inducted: 1996
Country: Hungary
Born: 1860, in Nagybecskerek, Hungary
Died: November 21, 1944

A Hungarian sports administrator and pedagogue, Kemeny was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee in 1894, the first secretary of the IOC, and one of the handful of Pierre de Coubertin’s colleagues who organized the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Upon the founding of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) in 1895, Kemeny was named the organization’s secretary. Although he was one of Coubertin’s friends and pioneer allies, he was nonetheless a target of frequent anti-Semitism from other HOC members. These attacks eventually resulted in his resignation in 1907, as Hungary’s IOC representative and from sports life itself.

It is reported that Kemeny and his wife converted to Christianity prior to Germany’s occupation of Hungary at the outbreak of World War II. If true, his reputation as Hungary’s most prominent Jewish sports pioneer could not escape him. On November 21, 1944, facing immediate arrest by members of the Nazi surrogate Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, the Kemenys
committed suicide.

In 1980, a new sports stadium in the Hungarian city of Eger was named after Dr. Kemeny. At the time of the founding of the IOC in 1895, Kemeny was headmaster of the modern school in Eger.

 
© 1996- International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
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