Apponyi, one of the oldest noble families of Hungary, several members of which have achieved considerable prominence in the Hungarian or Austrian service, among them the following: I. Gyorgy Antal, count, born in 1751, officiated as member of the royal lieutenancy in Buda, and subsequently as lord-lieutenant of the county of Tolna, but chiefly distinguished himself as founder of the Apponyi library, a large and valuable collection, opened to the public in Presburg in 1827, ten years after his death.
II. Antal, son of the preceding, born in 1782, was equally remarkable as a patron of literature and art and as a diplomatist, serving successively, as a representative of Austria, at the courts of St. James, Rome, and Paris. He died in 1852.
III. Rudolf, the son of the preceding, born in 1812, chose the career of his father, was appointed Austrian minister at Turin in 1849, transferred to London in 1856, made ambassador there in 1860, and relieved in 1871 by Count Beust, when he was sent by Count Andrassy as ambassador to Constantinople.
IV. Gyorgy, cousin of the preceding and grandson of Gyorgy Antal, born in 1808, was a conspicuous member of the conservative party at the diet of Presburg in 1843-'4, and became Hungarian court chancellor in 18-17. He lived in retirement during and after the revolution of 1848-'9, and accepted in 1859 a position in the wider Reichsrath of Vienna, where he furthered with great energy and ability various schemes for the restoration of the constitution of his country. In 1860 he was made judex curiœ, in 1861 opened as royal commissioner the diet of Pesth, and by his mediatory position was in the following years, next to Francis Deak, the most influential person in bringing about the reconciliation between Hungary and the court of Vienna, which in 1867 culminated in the transformation of the Austrian empire on the basis of nationality and constitutionalism. A leading conservative, Count Apponyi is esteemed by all parties as a patriot and a statesman.