Gabor (gah-bor or ga-bor), the son of a businessman, was born in the Hungarian capital of Budapest; he was educated at the technological university there and in Berlin, where he obtained a doctorate in engineering in 1927. He worked initially as a research engineer for Siemens and Halske from 1927 until 1933 when, with the rise of Hitler, he decided to leave Germany and took a post with the British Thomson-Houston Company, Rugby. In 1948 he joined the staff of Imperial College, London, later serving as professor of applied electron physics from 1958 until his retirement in 1967.