In Memoriam: Béla Várdy

Steven Béla Várdy, one of the most preeminent historians of Hungary and Hungarians in the West, has died. His university teaching career spanned half a century. Today we share the obituary written by John J. Dwyer, Chair of the Department of History at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Steven Béla Várdy

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus and McAnulty Distinguished Professor of History Dr. Steven Béla Várdy. Dr. Várdy received his doctoral degree from Indiana University and taught at Duquesne University for fifty years – from 1964 to 2014. As one of Duquesne’s most prolific faculty members, Dr. Várdy wrote and edited more than 22 books, 175 scholarly articles, 87 book reviews, 83 encyclopedia entries, 60 essays, and 350 newspaper articles. He was considered one of the world’s leading experts in Hungarian history and presented more than 100 conference papers in Europe and the United States. He received numerous awards for his scholarly achievements, including Hungary’s Berzsenyi Prize, Hungary’s Officers’ Cross of the Order of Merit, Árpád Academy’s Gold Medal, Canada’s Pro Libertate Diploma and Pro Patria in Exteris Diploma, along with Duquesne University’s Excellence in Scholarship Award. Dr. Várdy was elected to the Hungarian Writer’s Federation and the Hungarian Academy of Science; he received two honorary doctorates from Hungarian universities and had two festschrifts written in his honor by some of his former students. Dr. Várdy served on a number of editorial boards and held administrative positions on numerous external academic associations and committees – some of which he founded.

Dr. Várdy is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dr. Agnes Huszár Várdy – who co-wrote and co-edited some of his scholarly work – as well as his three children Nicholas, Zoltán, and Laura, and four grandchildren. In 2015, Drs. Agnes and Steven Várdy endowed the Várdy International Research and Study Grant at Duquesne University to support overseas research by graduate history students or study abroad by undergraduate history majors. Dr. Várdy passed away in his native Hungary and further information pertaining to any services or gifts will be forthcoming.

Steve was a caring individual who will be terribly missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

John J. Dwyer, PhD
Department of History
Duquesne University

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