1860 May, - 1904 THEODORE HERZL (Hungary-Austria-France)
Founder of political Zionism. Born in Budapest, his education was German with little Jewish influence. He became a correspondent and later editor of the Neue Freie Presse in Vienna. For a while he toyed with the idea of converting and felt that mass conversion might solve the problem of anti-Semitism. He was in Paris during the Dreyfus trial, which inspired his idea of a Jewish national homeland. He had never read Hess or Pinsker, but developed the idea of Zionism entirely on his own. Herzl wrote "The Jewish State" in three weeks and then launched his Zionist program. He served as the physical and spiritual head of the World Zionist Organization until his death soon after the Uganda scheme failed to win support. During his life, he met with as many heads of state as possible in order to win support for a national homeland.