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David “Chim” Seymour (Szymin), a co-founder of Magnum Photos in 1947, was born in Warsaw on this date in 1911, to parents who were publishers of Yiddish and Hebrew books. He moved to Paris in the 1930s, became an active photographer, and met his Magnum co-founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. From 1936 to 1938 Seymour photographed the Spanish Civil War, and during the Second World War, in which his parents were killed by the Nazis, he served in U.S. Army Intelligence. In 1948 he became UNICEF’s first international photographer, commissioned to take pictures of Europe’s war orphans and other needy children. He also photographed celebrities throughout the continent (including Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Avedon, and numerous others) and news events, and went to the Middle East to capture on film the emergence of the State of Israel. In 1956, Seymour was killed by Egyptian gunfire while photographing a prisoner exchange near the Suez Canal. To see some of his UNICEF photos, look below.
“[L]et the news in, show the hungry face, the broken land, anything so that those who are comfortable may be moved a little.” —David Seymour