BÁNÓCZI , Hungarian literary family. (1) JÓZSEF (1849–1926), Hungarian literary historian, philologist, and Jewish educator. József was born in Szentgál, abandoned his rabbinical studies for a university education, and graduated from Leipzig. In 1878 he became a lecturer in philosophy at Budapest University, and later an associate professor. From 1879 József was a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was appointed principal of the Budapest Jewish Teachers' College in 1887 and held the post until his death. József distinguished himself mainly by his research into the history of the Hungarian language and literature. He also helped to create Hungarian terminology for philosophical expressions. He wrote biographies of Miklós Révai, the first Hungarian philologist (1879), and of the poet Károly Kisfaludy (1882–83). József encouraged Jewish studies and founded the Izraelita Magyar Irodalmi Társulat (the Hungarian-Jewish Society for Literature), whose annual he edited. József, together with Wilhelm *Bacher and Samuel *Krauss; published a Jewish-sponsored Hungarian translation of the Bible. (2) LÁSZLÓ (1884–1945), son of József Bánóczi, Hungarian playwright, author and translator. László graduated from the university of his native Budapest. He was responsible for the establishment of the Thália theater, which catered to working-class audiences and was its first director. László was prominent in the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, which he represented on the Budapest Municipal Council. His books on the drama included Shakespeare a mai szinpadon ("Shakespeare on the Contemporary Stage," 1910). During World War ii, László was active in the theater fostered by the omike, a Jewish association for popular education, and it was mainly due to his efforts that Hungarian-Jewish cultural life was maintained in a wide field of activities.
Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 84–85; Irodalmi Lexikon (1927), 96; Magyar Irodalmi Lexikon, 1 (1963), 97.