a1 University of Newcastle and Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.
George Szekeres was born in Budapest on 29th May, 1911 the second of three sons to wealthy Jewish parents. As a youth he was shy and retiring, but early it become clear that his gifts lay in the direction of science and mathematics. At high school George was greatly influenced by his teacher in mathematics and physics, K. (Charles) Novobátzky, who worked actively in the theory of relativity and was in 1945 to become a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Budapest. Small wonder that George's first great mathematical interest was relativity. The other major formative influence at high school was the journal ‘Koözeépiskolai Matematikai és Fizikai Lapok’. The names of problem solver were published with each solution and with the completion of the year's volume, photographs of the main contributors were reproduced.