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A Hungarian’s Realization of the American Dream

Getty Images / The LIFE Picture Collection / Carl Mydans

A Hungarian’s Realization of the American Dream

Laszlo Makk (Louisville Courier-Journal)Dr. Laszlo Makk’s obituary, published in April 2011 in the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, is a comprehensive and fascinating portrait of a man whose life was marked by both tremendous upheaval and achievement.

Born in Hungary, Dr. Makk fled to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He interned under world-renowned cardiac surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley at Texas Medical Center in Houston, and became director of pathology at St. Anthony Hospital in Louisville. He was also member of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Dr. Makk's life story, as told in his obituary, seems to support the title of his memoir: "A Doctor's Journey: A Hungarian's Realization of the American Dream." According to the obit, he received many awards "recognizing his professional achievements and commitment to community service and his country," including the American Hungarian Foundation "Abraham Lincoln Award" and the Daughters of the American Revolution "Americanism Award." What an amazing journey it must have been for an immigrant from Hungary.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.