(September 20, 1931 – September 24, 2019)
Dr. Béla Bognár was part of a small group of freedom fighters who fought on the streets from Üllői to Soroksári Roads from October 23 to November 9, 1956. On November 10, he went home to Zala to pick up his French dictionary, prayer book and ski boots. On November 11, 1956 he crossed the border to Austria and headed for Leuven, Belgium, to start a new life.
After immigrating to the US, Dr. Bognár attended the University of Wisconsin where he obtained MS and PhD degrees in gerontology, health and mental health policies. He continued his post-doctorate studies in mental health and aging at the UC Berkeley and at USC, receiving certificates in both institutions. He wrote four textbooks and countless articles on health and aging policies.
In 1999 Dr. Bognár and his 2nd wife, April, established the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund (BFHSF) to provide assistance to qualified Hungarian university students living and/or studying in Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, and the United States. Since its inception, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $700,000 to 255 Hungarian stu¬dents in the US and the Carpathian Basin.
Dr. Béla Bognár was also honored by the Hungarian government with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit on August 20, 2015. Dr. Bognár passed away on September 24, 2019. He was 88 years old.