Sandor "Alex" Kvassay Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Sandor "Alex" Kvassay Papers
Call Number: MS 2016-02
Size: 4.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Acquisition: Donated by Alex Kvassay, 2014
Processed by: JZ, 9-2015
Restrictions: None
Note: Digital collection, Alex Kvassay Collection

Literary Rights

Literary rights were granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection contains papers preserved by Sandor "Alex" Kvassay which document his Hungarian ancestry, immigration to the United States following World War II, and career in aviation as a salesman of business jets within the international community. Items include certificates of birth and baptism, ID cards and passports, citizenship records, military service documents, educational transcripts and diplomas, letters of recommendation, job applications, resumes, news and magazine clippings, writings, a pilot log and pilot license, scrapbooks of foreign travels, and photographs of aircraft and persons involved in aviation manufacturing and marketing. Notable items include material relating to Kvassay's Hungarian upbringing and post-World War II activities in Budapest and Istanbul, as well as correspondence, business records, published articles, and images reflecting his considerable travel and skill as a marketer for Beech and Learjet. The bulk of material extends from 1941 to 2014.

Biography

Sandor "Alex" Kvassay was born in Budapest, Hungary, on December 21, 1926, into a family recognized for its contributions to civil engineering and government. To avoid Hungary's pro-Nazi draft during World War II, he worked as a clerk in the Defense Department. Following the war Kvassay pursued a law degree, also working as a translator and interpreter in 1946 and 1947 for the post-war Hungarian Reparations Office, which was formed to administer reparations to the Soviet Union.

Kvassay also secretly performed work for the West during this time by photographing encrypted telegrams and code books created and used by the Hungarian Foreign Service, thus apprising the American and British governments of the rise of Communism in Hungary. Fearing for their safety, Kvassay and his family left Budapest for Istanbul in October 1947, where Kvassay's father held a position as consul general to Turkey. Following the Communist takeover of the government in 1948, Kvassay's family was recalled to Hungary with Sandor immigrating to the United States as a political refugee.

Aided by the American government's knowledge of his espionage work, Kvassay sought to attain citizenship as quickly as possible, working as a translator at the Pentagon before enlisting in the U.S. Army in December 1948. Initially assigned as an infantryman, Kvassay gained a transfer to Ft. Riley, Kansas, where he worked as a supply clerk and occasional translator. Following his discharge in late 1951, Kvassay returned to Washington, D.C., where he gained citizenship and resumed his role as a translator for the Pentagon before applying to Beech Aircraft Corporation in late 1952 where he was eventually hired.

Kvassay worked at Beech from 1953 until 1965, acting as a sales representative to foreign buyers of company aircraft. He left to join the international marketing division of Lear Jet, which was bought by Gates Aviation in 1967, and eventually became a vice-president in the company before joining Canadair in 1976. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kvassay was also a founder and president of a jet leasing firm, Management Jets Worldwide, and acted as a consultant for other aviation companies until retiring in 1982. He is the father of three children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-40, Box 2 Personal and Family, 1910-2011, n.d. This series is made up of records relating to Alex Kvassay and his family.
Subseries 1.1 Box 1 FF 1-21 Personal, 1926-2000. This subseries consists of documents relating to the identity of Alex Kvassay, including records of birth, baptism, Hungarian citizenship, his resident alien status in the United States, passports, American naturalization, and his relinquishment of Hungarian citizenship and eventual regaining of it.
Subseries 1.2 Box 1 FF 22-27 Education, 1932-1955. This subseries houses Alex Kvassay's educational records from Hungary and the University of Wichita, along with assorted correspondence. Translations of most of Kvassay's Hungarian transcripts are present.
Subseries 1.3 Box 1 FF 28-30 Professional, 1944-1948. This subseries contains records relating to Alex Kvassay's employment with the Hungarian Defense Department during World War II, as well as his postwar work with the Hungarian Reclamations Office and the Pentagon. Items include contracts and correspondence, with some Hungarian materials translated into English.
Subseries 1.4 Box 1 FF 31-35 Military, 1948-1952. This subseries consists of Alex Kvassay's service record in the United States Army, various ID cards, as well as his application for a commission in the Air Force after his honorable discharge in 1951.
Subseries 1.5 Box 1 FF 36-37, Box 2 Family, 1910-1964. This contains items relating to the Kvassay family, including the baptism certificate for Alex's father, Laszlo, and documentation relating Kvassay's efforts to gain American visas for his family during the 1950s and 1960s. Some Hungarian correspondence and affidavits are translated into English.
Subseries 1.6 Box 1 FF 38-40, Box 2 Other, 1956-2011, n.d. This subseries houses various items relating to Kvassay and his family, including correspondence, a DVD of Kvassay's 2011 trip to North Korea, an address book, and some commemorative artifacts honoring his grandfather, a celebrated civil engineer in late 19th and early 20th century Hungary.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 41-75 This series contains records pertaining to Alex Kvassay's career in aviation.
Subseries 2.1 Box 1 FF 41-49 Beech, 1952-1965. This subseries consists of documents relating to Kvassay's career at Beech Aviation Corporation.
Subseries 2.2 Box 1 FF 50-63 Lear Jet, 1965-1976. This subseries contains material documenting Kvassay's career at Lear Jet (known as Gates Learjet after 1969). Of note are the activity reports written by Kvassay which provide information on sales in the international market during the early 1970s, as well as the considerable correspondence following Kvassay's resignation from Gates Learjet in 1976.
Subseries 2.3 Box 1 FF 64-67 Canadair, 1976-1980. This subseries contains agreements, memos, reports, and correspondence relating to Kvassay's affiliation with Canadair.
Subseries 2.4 Box 1 FF 68-75 Other, 1952-1982, n.d. This subseries houses records relating to Kvassay's career in aviation, including correspondence and reports concerning Management Jets Worldwide and Piper Aviation Corporation. Also present are items such as his pilot's license, pilot log, resumes, applications to other business firms, and an assessment analyzing Kvassay and his qualifications for employment.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 76-78, Box 3 Writings and Publications, 1948-2014, n.d. This series houses articles authored by Alex Kvassay as well as magazine and news clippings he collected. For several years Kvassay wrote columns for Professional Pilot and East Wichita News in which he reminisced about his career in aviation and the many places and people he encountered; these writings and other unpublished material are collected in a scrapbook. Collected articles and publications focus on geopolitical issues in Hungary and Turkey, as well as Kvassay's associates. Material is arranged by creator.
Series 4 Box 1 FF 79-81, Box 4, Box 5 Images, Albums and Scrapbooks, 1922-2004, n.d. This series contains loose images, scrapbooks, and photo albums depicting Alex Kvassay's Hungarian upbringing, as well as his immigration to the United States, military service, and subsequent career in aviation. Notable subjects include a telephone booth in Nazi Germany with a sign prohibiting Jews from using it, the destruction of Budapest by German and Soviet forces during World War II, as well as images of prominent figures at Beech and Lear Jet and the many countries Kvassay travelled to while marketing aircraft for these companies. Annotations and news clippings supplement many photos. Also of interest is the scrapbook Kvassay created to preserve feedback received from his associates upon publishing his memoir. Loose images are cataloged first, followed by the albums and scrapbooks.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Personal and Family

Subseries 1.1 ‒ Personal

Box 1FF 1Birth certificate, 1926
Box 1FF 2Certificate of baptism for Sandor Kvassay, 1936
Box 1FF 3Certificate of Hungarian citizenship, 1942
Box 1FF 4Diplomatic passport, 1943
Box 1FF 5Certificate of Christian origin, 1944
Box 1FF 6Draft exemption, 1944
Box 1FF 7ID card, 1945
Box 1FF 8Denazification document, 1945
Box 1FF 9Certificate of identity, 1946
Box 1FF 10Declaration of Intention and other immigration records, 1948-1949
Box 1FF 11Resident alien identification card, 1949
Box 1FF 12Application to File Petition for Naturalization, 1952
Box 1FF 13Certificate of Naturalization, 1952
Box 1FF 14Personal History Statement, 1952
Box 1FF 15U.S. passports, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1965, 1972
Box 1FF 16Request to be released from Hungarian citizenship, 1969
Box 1FF 17Release from Hungarian citizenship, 1969
Box 1FF 18Laissez-passer [travel document] to French Polynesia, 1972
Box 1FF 19U.S. passports, 1976, 1981, 1996, 2006
Box 1FF 20Certificate of Hungarian citizenship, 2000
Box 1FF 21Hungarian passport, 2000

Subseries 1.2 ‒ Education

Box 1FF 22Elementary school transcripts and graduation certificate, 1932-1935
Box 1FF 23Gymnasium transcripts and diploma, 1936-1944
Box 1FF 24Correspondence relating to scholarship, 1942-1943
Box 1FF 25University transcripts and certificate of graduation, 1944-1948
Box 1FF 26Veterans Administration eligibility documents, 1953-1954
Box 1FF 27University of Wichita semester reports, 1954-1955

Subseries 1.3 ‒ Professional

Box 1FF 28Defense Department records, 1944
Box 1FF 29Hungarian Reclamations Office records, 1946-1948
Box 1FF 30Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 1.4 ‒ Military

Box 1FF 31Service record, 1948-1951
Box 1FF 32Army ID card, liberty passes, motor vehicle operator's permit, permanent pass, 1949-1951
Box 1FF 33Honorable discharge, 1951
Box 1FF 34Correspondence relating to USAF commission, 1951
Box 1FF 35Application for USAF commission and correspondence, 1952

Subseries 1.5 ‒ Family

Box 1FF 36Certificate of baptism for Laszlo Kvassay, 1910
Box 1FF 37Correspondence and affidavits relating to Kvassay family, 1954-1964

Subseries 1.6 ‒ Other

Box 1 FF 38Correspondence, 1978-2010
Box 1FF 39DVD of Kvassay's trip to North Korea, 2011
Box 1FF 40Address book of Alex Kvassay, n.d.
Box 2   Bronze medallion and silver coin honoring Jeno Kvassay, n.d.

Series 2 ‒ Business

Subseries 2.1 ‒ Beech

Box 1FF 41Achievement awards, Department of Sales Training, 1962, 1965
Box 1FF 42Agreement between Personnel Office and Employee, 1953
Box 1FF 43Assignment record, 1953
Box 1FF 44Correspondence, 1952-1965
Box 1FF 45News release, 1962
Box 1FF 46Organizational charts, 1960, 1962-1963
Box 1FF 47Performance reviews, 1959-1960, 1962-1965
Box 1FF 48Remarks, "The Airplane as a Tool of Management," 1962
Box 1FF 49Separation notice, 1965

Subseries 2.2 ‒ Lear Jet

Box 1FF 50Activity reports, 1971-1973
Box 1FF 51Applications for employment, 1965, 1967
Box 1FF 52Certificates, 1965, 1966, 1969
Box 1FF 53Correspondence, 1965
Box 1FF 54Correspondence, 1966-1968
Box 1FF 55Correspondence, 1969-1971
Box 1FF 56Correspondence, 1972-1976
Box 1FF 57Correspondence on resignation and future plans, 1976
Box 1FF 58News releases, 1965-1973
Box 1FF 59Organizational charts, 1967, 1969, 1971-1972
Box 1FF 60Performance reviews, 1966, 1968-1971
Box 1FF 61Press clippings, 1965, 1969, 1976
Box 1FF 62Remarks to Wichita City Commission, 1972
Box 1FF 63Stock options, 1966

Subseries 2.3 ‒ Canadair

Box 1FF 64Agreements, 1976-1979
Box 1FF 65Correspondence, 1976-1980
Box 1FF 66Memo on Learstar 600 International Organization, 1976
Box 1FF 67Reports, 1978, 1980

Subseries 2.4 ‒ Other

Box 1FF 68Application to North American Rockwell, 1970
Box 1FF 69Bylaws for Management Jets Worldwide, 1977
Box 1FF 70Correspondence with George Sullivan Associates, Inc., 1969
Box 1FF 71Correspondence and reports, Management Jets Worldwide, 1977-1982
Box 1FF 72Correspondence and reports, Piper Aircraft Corporation, 1980-1981
Box 1FF 73Employment assessment, 1952
Box 1FF 74Pilot's log and pilot license, 1955-1967
Box 1FF 75Resumes, c. 1953, c. 1969

Series 3 ‒ Writings and Publications

Box 1FF 76Abelag 50th anniversary book, 2014
Box 1FF 77Kvassay, Alex ‒ Articles written by, 1948-2014
Box 3Kvassay, Alex ‒ Scrapbook, 1948-2014
Box 1FF 78Other clippings collected by Kvassay, c. 1963-2014

Series 4 ‒ Images, Albums, and Scrapbooks

Box 1FF 79Images ‒ Kvassay family, 1935, 1988, 1992, n.d.
Box 1FF 80Images ‒ World War II-era Budapest and Kvassay family homes, 1945, n.d.
Box 1FF 81Images ‒ Professional and travel, 1951, 1964, 1971, 1988-1990, n.d.
Box 4Album ‒ Old family photos received from Zsuzsa Nemes, 1999, n.d.
Box 4Album ‒ Family, 1922-2002, n.d.
Box 4Album ‒ Prewar Hungary, 1938-1964, n.d.
Box 4Album ‒ Germany, 1941-1942, 1964
Box 4Album ‒ Istanbul, 1947-1948
Box 4Album ‒ U.S.A., 1947-1953, 1965, 1973
Box 4Album ‒ U.S. Army, 1949-1951, 1991, n.d.
Box 5Album ‒ Beech (BP 1), 1953-1965
Box 5Album ‒ Beech (BP 2), 1953-1965
Box 5Album ‒ Beech (BP 3), 1953-1965
Box 5Scrapbooks ‒ Beechcraft, 1955-1964, n.d.
Box 5Scrapbooks ‒ Aviation, 1964-1968, 1969, n.d.
Box 5 Scrapbooks ‒ Lear Jet, 1965-1976, n.d.
Box 5Scrapbooks ‒ Alex in Wonderland feedback, 1995-1998, 2004, n.d.