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Deak, Francis [de'äk fe'rents] Pronunciation Key
Deak, Francis, Hung. Deák Ferenc, 1803–76, Hungarian politician. A landed proprietor and lawyer, he entered the Hungarian diet in 1833 and became minister of justice after the revolution of Mar., 1848. He vainly opposed Louis Kossuth, trying to prevent an open break with Austria, and upon his failure he withdrew from public affairs. After the defeat (1849) of the Hungarian revolutionists, Deak became the recognized leader of his nation. Though always advocating the continued union of Austria and Hungary, he insisted on the restoration of the Hungarian constitution of 1848, Hungarian territorial integrity, and the recognition of Hungary as a separate kingdom. The government of Emperor Francis Joseph having begun, in 1860, to seek reconciliation with Hungarian national sentiment, Deak in the diet of 1866 cooperated with Julius Andrássy in drawing up a report on a new constitution. This report was the basis of the negotiations (1867) between Deak and the Austrian chancellor, F. F. Beust, which resulted in the Ausgleich [compromise] establishing the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Deak continued to act as a moderating force.
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Deak, Nicholas L(ouis)
b. Oct. 8, 1905, Transylvania, Hung. d. Nov. 18, 1985, New York, N.Y., U.S. banker and founder of an internationally renowned retail currency-exchange service and dealer in precious metals.
Deak received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Neuchâtel, Switz., in 1929. He worked with the Hungarian Trade Institute (1930-35) and with the British Overseas Bank (1935-37) as manager of Hungarian and Romanian subsidiaries. For two years Deak worked in the economics department of the League of Nations. In 1939 he founded Deak & Company, but he closed the operation in 1942, when he joined the U.S. Army. He became a U.S. citizen in 1943 and eventually a senior intelligence officer in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
He resumed his business in 1946 and formed a partnership with the Perera group, a foreign-exchange dealer. Over the years Deak's business expanded rapidly; at its height the parent company, Deak & Company, included three banks and some 70 international companies providing a variety of monetary services. In the late 1970s and early '80s the company was shaken by a series of scandals involving the "laundering" of money; Deak & Company and two of its subsidiaries entered bankruptcy proceedings in 1984. In 1985 a mentally unbalanced woman murdered Deak in his office.