Former Hungarian President Pal Losonczi

Associated Press
Monday, April 4, 2005

Pal Losonczi, 85, the president of communist Hungary from 1967 to 1987, died of cancer March 28 at a hospital in Kaposvar in southwestern Hungary.

Mr. Losonczi was minister of agriculture from 1960 to 1967. He then was appointed head of the Presidential Council of the Hungarian People's Republic, a figurehead presidency.

He was also a parliamentary deputy from 1953 until 1989, when he retired.

He is best remembered for donating gifts in 1990 that he had received as head of state to the Somogy County Museum organization. He also donated his library of 5,000 volumes to the high school in Barcs, a small town near his birthplace where he lived after retirement.

Mr. Losonczi was born into a peasant family in the village of Bolho, 120 miles southwest of Budapest, near the Croatian border.

He became involved in politics after World War II, gradually gaining higher ranks in the Communist Party.

After the communist regime fell in 1990, he withdrew from public life.

Survivors include a son. His wife and another son had died.

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