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Steven F. Udvar-Házy

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Steven Udvar-Házy
Ferenc István Udvarházy

1946 (age 77–78)
EducationUniversity High School
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Occupation(s)Executive chairman, Air Lease Corporation
SpouseChristine Hazy

Steven Ferencz Udvar–Házy ([ˈudvɒrhaːzi]; born 1946), also known as István or Steve Hazy,[2] is a Hungarian-American billionaire businessman and the executive chairman of Air Lease Corporation. He is the former chairman and CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), one of the two largest aircraft lessors in the world (the other being AerCap).[3] Forbes magazine's 2021 list of The World's Billionaires estimated his net worth at US$4 billion.[4]

Early life[edit]

The Udvar-Házy family moved to the US in 1958, fleeing the Soviet occupation of Hungary.[5] Hazy attended University High School in Los Angeles,[6] and the University of California, Los Angeles.[7]


Udvar-Házy was in his 20s during the later part of transition from propeller aircraft to jets during the mid to late 1960s, and realized that the higher capital investment required to purchase jet aircraft created an opportunity for a leasing business. He founded ILFC with fellow Hungarian Leslie Gonda and his son Louis Gonda in 1973, leasing a single used Douglas DC-8 to Aeroméxico.[8] He left ILFC in February 2010 and founded Air Lease Corporation.[7]

In 2016, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán presented Udvar-Házy the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary for his achievements in airline industry.[9]


Udvar-Házy gave a US$66 million grant to the Smithsonian Institution that allowed the U.S. National Air and Space Museum to build the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex at Washington Dulles International Airport.[10] The annex houses more than 120 aircraft and 140 space-exploration exhibits as of 2006, and also includes the Space Shuttle Discovery. Plans call for eventually installing over 300 aircraft.[11]

The Udvar-Házy family contributed funds to build the Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott Campus.[12] The business building at Utah Tech University in St. George, Utah is named after his parents, Erno and Etel Udvar-Házy.[5][13]

Personal life[edit]

He is married with four children and lives in Beverly Hills, California.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Steven Udvar-Hazy". Forbes. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Wayne, Leslie (May 10, 2007). "Steve Hazy, aviation's low-profile giant". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  3. ^ "From the Chairman & CEO". Wayback. n.d. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2006.
  4. ^ "Forbes Billionaires 2021: The Richest People in the World". Forbes. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Utah Tech University. "The Udvar-Hazy Story".
  6. ^ Uni Hi Warriors & Wildcats Report for June 1, 2015
  7. ^ a b Leslie Wayne (May 10, 2007). "The Real Owner of All Those Planes". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2007.
  8. ^ "History of International Lease Finance Corporation – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presents Steven F. Udvar-Hazy with the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary". Government. n.d. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  10. ^ Lawrence M. Small. "A century's roar and buzz: Thanks to an immigrant's generosity, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opens to the public". Smithsonian. Vol. 34. smithsonianmag.com. p. 20. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
  11. ^ "New Smithsonian Museum Facility to be Named After Donor" (Press release). Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. March 28, 2000. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Withrow, Sara (December 13, 2016). "Legacy: Philanthropy at Embry-Riddle Ripples Through its Past, Present and Future".
  13. ^ "Billionaire Steven F. Udvar-Hazy to speak on finance at Dixie State University". Retrieved August 4, 2020.

Further reading[edit]