Janos John Hunniades (Hunyady), a Hungarian general and statesman, born toward the close of the 14th century, died in 1456. His birth and youth are wrapped in legendary obscurity, as is the origin of his surname Corvinus (Hollosi). Under the reign of Albert (1437-'9) he became ban of a province south of the Danube, and under Uladislasl. (1439-'44) count of Temes and commander of Belgrade. Shortly after the latter appointment he repulsed a Turkish army of invasion from his province, and soon after routed the same in Transylvania (1442). In the following year he made a victorious campaign through Servia and across the Balkan, which conquered peace from the Turks. Uladislas, however, was induced by the legate of Eugenius IV. to break it, and perished with the greater part of his army at the battle of Varna (1444). Hunyady, who escaped, was made governor of Hungary during the minority and absence of Ladislas the Posthumous, son of Albert, who was detained by the emperor Frederick III. In 1448 Hunyady was defeated by Sultan Amurath at Kosovo, on the confines of Servia and Bulgaria, but in 1454 he was again victorious over the enemies of his country and Christendom, whose expulsion from Europe he made the task of his life. The heroic defence of Belgrade closed his career.
Of his two sons, Ladislas died innocently on the scaffold, and Matthias (Corvinus) ascended the throne of Hungary.