György was born in 1920 in Balatonboglár, and was raised there until 1930 when his family moved to Budapest. He was first conscripted into forced labor between October 1 and December 31, 1941, and was later called up several times until 1944. In November, 1944 he escaped deportation from Józsefváros Railway Station with a fake Swedish Embassy document and ended up at a Swedish protected house. He wrote about his meeting with Raoul Wallenberg and about his escape in his novel Rámpa (Ramp) published in 1984.
After the war he studied at the Péter Pázmány University and at the Sorbonne in Paris. He studied philosophy, Hungarian, and French literature and folklore. Upon his return from Paris he worked as a theater script-reader and was the editor-in-chief of the multilingual literary periodical Arion. He was a member of the Mallarmé Academy in Paris and the winner of several awards. His poems and novels were published in several languages. His son, Bálint was born in 1957. György Somlyó died in 2006.