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Zoltán Szabó Pál (1901-1965)

He was born in Pécs on 26 August 1901. He accomplished his geographical studies at the Budapest University of Sciences and at Erzsébet University of Pécs Faculty of Arts and Humanities Department of geography. In 1923 he obtained a diploma of geography and history teacher, since then he worked as a secondary school teacher and in 1925 he obtained a Ph.D. degree. In 1926 he won scholarship in Zurich, and in 1927 in Budapest, at Pál Teleki's Department and then he worked as an assistant professor in Pécs. In 1932 he was habilitated as a private lecturer. Due to the critical situation of Pécs Faculty he moved to Szekszárd in 1933, and then to Szeged in 1941.

From 1943 until his death (24 July 1965) he was the director of Transdanubian Research Institute. he established in 1943. In 1948, he participated in the organization of the Teacher's Training College in Pécs which he was also the first director of.

His major research field was physical geography, and he won professional recognition by his research results in morphology, hydrology and karst research. He conducted researches mainly in Pécs, Baranya County and the South-Transdanubian region. He prepared more than fifty scientific opinions mainly on the problems of urban water supply solution in Pécs and other places. He published several studies on Pécs, in particular, on its special characteristics originating from geographical location. His works included demographic elements, historical and political geography as well, and his researches on the Balkans very significant, by which called for the establishment of a Balkan research institute.

He regularly participated on international conferences and he was a corresponding member of the U.S. National Speleological Society.

He was the President of the Hungarian Geographical Society (1962-1965), President of the Hungarian Hydrological Society, the vice president of the Hungarian Cave and Karst Research Society, member of the Geographical Science Committee of the Hungarian Academy and the Scientific Certification Board of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences..

He actively participated in local professional public affairs, he was Secretary General of the Mecsek Association, member of Parliament as a representative of the city of Pécs for several years years, and member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Committee in Hungary. In 1955 he was awarded by an Order of Merit for Labour. In 1964 he was awarded by the Hungarian Cave and Karst Research Society's Medal in honour of Kadič Ottokár.