Born June 1, 1910, in Berettyóújfalu. Politician and statesman in the Hungarian People’s Republic (HPR).
Kallai joined the Hungarian Communist Party (HCP)’ in 1931. He played a leading role in the democratic student movement and worked on antifascist journals. He was arrested in 1939. After his release, he worked from 1939 to 1944 on the editorial board of the newspaper Népszava, acting on instructions of the party. He took part in the organization of the Hungarian Committee on Historically Memorable Dates (founded 1942) and in the organization of antifascist and antiwar demonstrations on Mar. 15, 1942. He was a representative of the HCP in the Executive Committee of the Hungarian National Independence Front (1944). In April 1945 he became a member of the Central Committee of the HCP, and from June to November of that year he was secretary of state of the Council of Ministers. From September 1945 to March 1947 he was editor in chief of the newspaper Szabad Föld. From 1946 to 1948 he was the director of the department of culture of the Central Committee of the HCP. From 1949 to 1951 he served as the minister of foreign affairs of the HPR.
Kallai was arrested in 1951 on a false charge. After his rehabilitation (1954–55), he was the director of the Central Publishing House and the deputy minister of culture. In 1956 he became the director of the cultural department of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party. From November 1956 to March 1975 he was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP). In March 1975 he became a member of the Central Committee of the HSWP. In 1957 he was minister of education and a government minister. From 1957 to 1959 he was secretary of the Central Committee of the HSWP. From January 1960 to September 1961 he was first vice-chairman of the Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Government; from September 1961 to July 1965, vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers; and from July 1965 to April 1967, chairman of the Council of Ministers. From April 1967 to May 1971 he was chairman of the National Assembly of the HPR.
WORKSSzocializmus és kultúra. Budapest, 1962.
Dvizhenie za nezavisimosf Vengrii 1936–1945. Moscow, 1968.
(Translated from Hungarian.)
Szocializmus, népfront, democracia. Budapest, 1971.