Đuro Kurepa was born on 16 August 1907 in Majske Poljane by Glina. He simultaneously attended middle agricultural school and high school in Križevci. Following graduation in mathematics and physics from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Kurepa studied at Sorbonne under the professor M. Frechet and other French mathematicians. In Paris Kurepa defended his doctoral thesis in which he for the first time developed a systematic study on set trees. Upon return to Zagreb he worked at the Faculty of Philosophy until 1965, and then switched to the Faculty of Science in Belgrade where he remained full professor until 1977 when he was promoted to the professor emeritus.
Kurepa was member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, Bosnia and Herzegovina Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was President of the Educational Council of Serbia, Scientific Committee at the Mathematical Institute in Belgrade, Alliance of Mathematicians, Physicists and Astronomers of Yugoslavia; Yugoslav National Committee for Mathematics and Balkan Mathematics Union. He was among founders of the Mathematicians’ and Physicists’ Society of Croatia and its first president. As recognition for his life work Kurepa received the AVNOJ award in 1976.
At the universities in Zagreb and Belgrade Đuro Kurepa taught courses from different areas of mathematics (mathematical analysis, algebra, algebra structures, differential equations, complex analysis, real functions, set theory, and topology). He wrote some 50 textbooks for primary and middle schools and only Školska knjiga publishing house from Zagreb published 23 of his titles. His scientific-research results are contained in about 170 scientific works published in numerous journals form all over the world.
Đuro Kurepa achieved greatest results in mathematics with his research of partially ordered sets, Suslin’s problem, cardinal numbers, hypothesis of continuum, axiom of choice, induction principle etc. Of all his researches, those dealing with the theory of trees and the famous Suslin’s problem from 1920 left the deepest mark. He died on the 2 November 1993.