The Laszlo Birinyi Sr. Distinguished Professorship in Hungarian Culture was established in 2001 with a gift from Laszlo Birinyi Jr. in honor of his father.* This $1 million endowment is the first Hungarian culture professorship in the South, and it distinguishes Carolina as one of the few places in the United States where students may work with an expert in Hungarian studies.

Laszlo Birinyi Sr. led his family out of Hungary during World War II. They traveled Europe as refugees and after the war, chose not to return to Hungary and the Communist regime that had gained control of the country. A sponsorship by the Church World Service brought the Birinyis to America where Laszlo Birinyi Jr. encountered the challenges of learning his third new language and joining a foreign culture.

Laszlo Birinyi Jr. grew up in Pennsylvania and came to Chapel Hill in 1962 as a freshman. He majored in history but credits one of the university’s earliest computer classes with giving him the expertise he needed to land a job as a computer programmer on Wall Street. Incorporating his computer background with a love of the stock market, he switched to trading and eventually became one of the most accurate prognosticators on Wall Street. Louis Rukeyser called him “Wall Street’s number one number cruncher.”

As president of Birinyi Associates, Inc., Lazlo Birinyi Jr. pioneered a stock market research firm that analyzes the psychology and history of the stock market and the actions of investors in order to predict stock trends. Birinyi and his wife, Jill, have two daughters: Natalie and Anna.

*received state matching funds from the State of North Carolina Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust

Laszlo Birinyi Sr. Distinguished Professor in Hungarian Culture

2008 – 2014: Peter Sherwood