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BIRINYI, LOUIS KOSSUTH

BIRINYI, LOUIS KOSSUTH

BIRINYI, LOUIS KOSSUTH (19 Apr. 1886--3 Sept. 1941) was a prominent member of the Cleveland Hungarian community. Author, journalist, and lawyer, Birinyi was an articulate spokesman on behalf of his native Hungary.

One of five children of Joseph and Susanna Birinyi, Louis was born in Damak, Hungary. His parents immigrated to the United States when Louis was two years old, leaving him behind with his grandparents. His parents returned to Hungary eleven years later. By then Louis himself wanted to come to the U.S., and his father made that possible in 1902.

Settling in Pittsburgh, Birinyi supported himself as a steelworker until 1907 when he moved to Crescent, NC, in the hopes of studying there for the ministry of the Hungarian Reformed Church. Changing career goals, in 1909 he moved to Lancaster, PA, where he earned his BA degree from Franklin and Marshall College. In 1913 he came to Cleveland to study law at Western Reserve University. He received his law degree, was admitted to the bar in 1916, and set up his first office at East 89th Street and Buckeye Road.

In 1924 Birinyi wrote his first book, The Tragedy of Hungary, an attack on the provisions of the Versailles Treaty, which had split apart the Austro-Hungarian empire. The book was widely read on both sides of the Atlantic and earned Birinyi membership in the Hungarian Academy of Science. In 1938 he wrote a second book, Why the Treaty of Trianon is Void.

In addition to his books, Birinyi was a frequent contributor and correspondent for several U.S. Hungarian-language newspapers.

In 1917 Birinyi married Anna Lemak. They had two children, Louise and Louis K., Jr.