Attila Vértes was born in Türje, a village in Hungary, in 1934. His academic career started at the Technical University of Budapest, where he received his Eng. Chem. M.S. degree in 1958 for a thesis entitled “Reflection of beta particles as a tool of chemical analysis.” In 1962 he also received an Economy M.S. degree from the University of Economics, Budapest, for a thesis on “The export and import of radioactive nuclides in Hungary,” showing his deep interest both in nuclear science in particular and in international affairs in general. He then prepared a dissertation on “Soft bremsstrahlung resulted from the interaction of γ-rays with substances” at the Department of Nuclear Chemistry of Lomonosov University, Moscow, and was awarded in 1965 the degree “Candidate of the Russian Academy of Sciences” in Moscow.