Paul Laszlo (February 6, 1900 - March 27, 1993) was a Hungarian-born modern architect and interior designer whose work spanned eight decades and many countries. Paul built his reputation while designing interiors for houses, but in the 1960s, largely shifted his focus to the design of retail and commercial interiors.
Laszlo completed his education in Vienna, Austria before moving to Stuttgart, Germany, where he rapidly established himself as a prominent designer, winning the admiration of, among others, Salvador Dali. However, the rising tide of anti-semitism and Nazism made Laszlo's position precarious in Europe due to his Jewish ancestry. In 1936 he fled Europe for the United States to escape the Nazis. Ironically, and without Laszlo's knowledge, some of his work appeared in Adolf Hitler's Eagle's Nest (the Kehlsteinhaus) near Berchtesgaden which infuriated Albert Speer, chief architect of the Third Reich and close advisor to Hitler. This convinced Laszlo he had to leave his family, his practice and his friends because Europe was no longer safe for him. He applied for and accepted a professorship teaching architecture at the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria in Chile. However, never intending to go to South America, Laszlo was hidden by friends of his until he was able to get passage on an oceanliner, which was not headed to South America, but rather New York City.