János Szárits (Subotica, 27.6.1876 – Subotica, 23.8.1966) was a cyclist, motorcyclist, motorist, pilot and officer. He was the youngest child of Anna Mák and an estate manager, Pajo. Starting from 1887/8, he finished five classes of the grammar school in his hometown, but his education ended in the commercial high school of Miskolc in the summer 1896. At the end of 1897, he became a clerk in the town administration of Subotica, which would be the financial basis of all his sports achievements. His cycling career lasted from 1896 to 1900. He went through the way from being an amateur cyclist to winning many international races. In the early 20th century, he increasingly turned to motorcycling, and later also to motoring. During his summer stay in France in 1909, Szárits saw the plane of Louis Blériot, who was preparing to fly over the English Channel. Since then, Szárits could not leave the thought of making his own airplane. He succeeded in that the following year. During the summer months, on the outskirts of Subotica, he did several test flights, so that on 16th October 1910 he performed his public flight in front of thousands of curious spectators at the town’s racecourse with the plane of his own design. Later he had several failed attempts to construct an airplane with a stronger engine. His official work ended with his retirement in early thirties of the 20th century. His passion for cars remained until the end of his life, driving till his last days.
Mirko Grlica (2010/b): Ivan Sarić. Gradski muzej, Subotica.