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
one of Coubertin’s friends and pioneer allies, he was nonetheless
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
If true, his reputation as Hungary’s most prominent Jewish
could not escape him. On November 21, 1944, facing immediate arrest
members of the Nazi surrogate Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, the Kemenys
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
Kemeny was headmaster of the modern school in Eger.