Countess and Count László Széchenyi, circa 1908.
Count László Széchenyi de Sárvár-felsővidék
February 18, 1879
|Died||July 5, 1938 (aged 59)|
|Occupation||Austro Hungarian military officer, Imperial Chamberlain, diplomat, venture capitalist|
|Known for||Husband of Gladys Vanderbilt|
|Hungary’s first Minister to the United States|
Hungary’s first Minister to the Court of Saint James in the United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Gladys Vanderbilt (m. 1908–1938; his death)|
Count László Széchenyi de Sárvár-felsővidék (born Széchenyi László Jenő Mária Henrik Simon in Horpács, 18 February 1879–Budapest, 5 July 1938) was an Austro Hungarian military officer, Imperial Chamberlain, diplomat and venture capitalist. His great-uncle was István Széchenyi. László Széchenyi married Gladys Vanderbilt, the youngest daughter of Alice Claypoole Gwynne and Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
He was a son of Count Imre Széchenyi de Sárvár-felsővidék, who was one time Austrian Minister at the Court of Berlin, and countess Alexandra Sztaray-Szirmay et Nagy-Mihály. His father owned thousands of acres divided into scores of farms and forest preserves on which the Széchenyis grew wheat, Turkish pepper, tobacco, hemp, and grapes. He was the youngest of four brothers.
- Count Dionys, who was Minister Plenipotentiary and Councilor of the Austrian Embassy at Paris, who married Comtesse Marie de Caraman et Chimay
- Peter Széchenyi
- István Széchenyi
All of the brothers were Reserve Lieutenants in the Imperial Hussars as well as Chamberlains at the Court.
Count László Széchenyi was the inventor of the submarine wireless telegraphy, for sending and receiving sound-wave vibrations underwater, and started the Submarine Wireless Company to produce it.
By 1908, Count László Széchenyi de Sárvár-felsővidék was the most prominent member of his family, which was quite numerous. He possessed two great estates in Hungary, Oermezo Castle, which is about three hundred years old and 4,000 acres, in the County of Templen, and Lagoshara Pusbla, a Summer place of about 4,300 acres, in the County of Somogy. The Count also owned a one-story, ten room house at 14 Eotvoss-street in Budapest. 
Shortly before the War, Count László Széchenyi de Sárvár-felsővidék tried to become a financial Napoléon in Hungary and met his Waterloo very quickly. He is said to have lost $4,000,000 which is supposed to have come largely from his wife. He was a member of the ‘Magnates Group’ which speculated in mines, railroads and other enterprises. They failed to calculate the impact of the World War, and suffered a complete smash as a result of the fall in value of their shares.
Minister to the United States
Count László Széchenyi presented his credentials as Hungary’s first Minister to the United States on January 11, 1922. He served until March 31, 1933. He was transferred to the same post at the Court of Saint James in England in 1933.
Count László was twenty-eight years old, when he met Gladys Vanderbilt, the seventh and youngest child of Alice Claypoole Gwynne and Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the president and chairman of the New York Central Railroad. Gladys grew up in the family home on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and their summer "cottage," The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. They married on January 27, 1908, at her family home in New York City, after their meeting in Berlin near her twenty-first birthday in 1907. Their early married life was spent in Hungary raising their five children. Together, Count László Széchenyi and Gladys Moore Vanderbilt had:
- Cornelia Széchenyi (1908–1958), who married Eugene B. Roberts (1898–1983) of Bowie, Maryland, and had three children:
- Gladys Roberts
- Cornelia Roberts
- Eugene Roberts
- Alice Széchenyi (1911–1974), who married Hungarian Count Béla Hadik (1905–1971) and had two sons:
- László Hadik
- János Hadik
- Gladys Széchenyi (1913–1978), who married Christopher Finch-Hatton, the Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham (1935–1946) They divorced, and in 1954, she married Arthur Talbot Peterson (1905–1962). Together Gladys and Christopher had:
- Christopher Denys Stormont Finch-Hatton, 16th Earl of Winchilsea (1936–1999)
- Robin Heneage Finch-Hatton (born 1939)
- Sylvia Széchenyi (1918–1998), who married Hungarian Count Antal Szapáry (1905–1972), and had two children:
- Pál Szapáry
- Gladys Szapáry
- Ferdinandine Széchenyi (born 1923), who married the Austrian Count Alexander zu Eltz (1911–1977) and had two sons:
- Peter zu Eltz
- Nicholas zu Eltz
Count László Szécheny died in Hungary in 1938.
- "Cash For Coronets: A 'Ruritanian' Coupling The Likes of Anthony Hope, Vanderbilt & Széchenyi". theesotericcuriosa.blogspot.com. The Esoteric Curiosa. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "SZECHENYI COMPANY USES HIS INVENTION - The Count's Submarine Wireless Tried Out by Torpedo Boat at Newport. - View Article - NYTimes.com" (PDF). query.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- "The Esoteric Curiosa: Cash For Coronets: A 'Ruritanian' Coupling The Likes of Anthony Hope, Vanderbilt & Széchenyi". theesotericcuriosa.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- "The Esoteric Curiosa". theesotericcuriosa.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- "Count Szechenyi's Summer Seat - Oermezo, is a Picturesque Village of About 1,000 Inhabitants in Upper Hungary. Miss Gladys Vanderbilt's Future Neighbors. - View Article - NYTimes.com" (PDF). query.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- "The Washington bee. volume (Washington, D.C.) 1884-1922, January 04, 1908, Image 3 « Chronicling America « Library of Congress". chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- "Hungary - Countries - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- Vanderbilt, Arthur T., II (1989). Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-07279-8.
- Newport Art Museum (R.I.) (2000). Newportraits. University Press of New England. p. 177. ISBN 9781584650188. Retrieved 2014-10-24.