John Harsanyi was born on 29 May 1920 in Budapest, Hungary. He shared the Nobel Prize in Economics of 1994 with John Nash and Reinhard Selten for his work in game theory. Harsanyi was educated in Budapest (at the same high school John Von Neumann attended) under fairly favorable circumstances until Germany's occupation of Hungary. He was forced to work in a labor unit in 1944, because he was of Jewish origin. The Nazis transferred his unit to an Austrian concentration camp, where, Harsanyi notes, “most of my comrades eventually perished,” but he escaped before the trip to Austria. He hid in a Jesuit monastery for some time, and after the war he switched his study from pharmacy, which was the avocation of his parents, to his true love of philosophy. He earned a PhD in philosophy from the University of Budapest in 1947. He left Hungary, which he feared was becoming increasingly Stalinist, in 1950.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.