David Seymour – Magnum Photos

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David Seymour

David (Chim) Szymin (b. 1911) was born in Warsaw but his family moved to Russia at the outbreak of the First World War, returning to Warsaw in 1919. After studying printing in Leipzig and chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne in the 1930s, he stayed on in Paris. Szymin - or Chim - began working as a freelance photographer. From 1936 to 1938 Chim photographed the Spanish Civil War and after it was over he went to Mexico on an assignment with a group of Spanish Republican émigrés.

On the outbreak of the Second World War he moved to New York, where he adopted the name David Seymour. Both his parents were killed by the Nazis. Seymour served in the US Army (1942-45), winning a medal for his work in intelligence. In 1947, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. He was killed by Egyptian machine-gun fire while covering a prisoner exchange near the Suez Canal.

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