Meet The Original Kardashians: The Gabor Sisters

It’s fair to say that the most shocking people in the media spotlight in America today is the Kardashian family. Somehow this group of sisters managed to turn 15 minutes of fame—fame that many feel was undeserved—into a full-time career, a media empire, and millions of dollars.

Yet, they weren’t the first trio of sisters to turn their personal lives into the talk of the world. In fact, the Gabor sisters beat them to it by more than 50 years. Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva were all born during the time of World War I and by the 1950s they were bringing scandal to sophisticated society the world over.

A Little Background

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Gabor sisters came from a Hungarian-Jewish background. Their father was Vilmos Gabor and he served as a major in the Hungarian Army and their mother, Jolie Gabor, was the heiress to a jewelry empire.

Magda was born in 1915, Zsa Zsa in 1917 and Eva in 1919. If they had remained in Hungary they might never have caught anyone’s attention but that wasn’t what fate had in store for them – they fled Hungary during World War II as a family and headed for the safety of American shores. Their route to freedom was not a simple one.