Born in Hungary in 1385, John Hunyadi became governor of Transylvania in 1441. In 1444 King Ladislaus III of Poland was killed at Varna fighting Ottoman Sultan Murad II, and Hunyadi was selected regent. Hunyadi continued to resist the Turks, delivering a decisive defeat to the armies of Sultan Muhammad II at Belgrade in 1456.

Hunyadi died later that year. He is celebrated in Hungary as a national hero, and on hearing of his death, Muhammad II commented, "Although he was my enemy I feel grief over his death, because the world has never seen such a man."

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