István Tarlós was born on 26 May 1948 in Budapest, Hungary. He is married with three children and six grandchildren.
Mayor Tarlós studied at the Budapest University of Technology and the Transport and Telecommunication Technical College, where he obtained a degree in civil engineering. Afterwards, he pursued postgraduate studies in economics and organisation at Ybl Miklós Technical College. During his 15-year career as civil engineer spent in the construction industry, he was responsible mainly for investor and contractor tasks. In the few years preceding the regime change, he worked in his own architect studio with wife Cecília Nagy.
Mr Tarlós first entered politics by joining SZDSZ (Alliance of Free Democrats) in 1989. He became mayor of Óbuda-Békásmegyer, District III of Budapest, for the first time in October 1990 as the common candidate of SZDSZ and FIDESZ (Alliance of Young Democrats). In 1994, he quit SZDSZ when the party entered into coalition with MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party). Then, as an independent candidate supported by FIDESZ and KDNP (Christian Democratic People’s Party), he was re-elected as the mayor of Óbuda-Békásmegyer in 1994, 1998, and 2002.Through their assignment, Mr Tarlós became the representative of the Budapest district mayors in the Central-Hungarian Regional Development Council, where he held the position of Vice Chairman for four years, also being the head of the Commission for Regional Strategic Planning.
Still an independent but declared conservative politician belonging to the FIDESZ-KDNP fraction alliance, Mayor Tarlós led the FIDESZ fraction and the FIDESZ-KDNP Fraction-Alliance in the Municipality of Budapest from October 2006 and October 2010. Supported by the FIDESZ-KDNP Alliance, he won the municipal elections in October 2010 thus becoming the Mayor of the City of Budapest. Mr Tarlós then was re-elected in 2014 as Mayor of Budapest. For his work as a mayor, Mr Tarlós has been awarded with several state and civil medals.