Capa, Robert

Capa, Robert
orig. Andrei Friedmann

born 1913, Budapest, Hung.
died May 25, 1954, Thai Binh, Viet.

Hungarian-born U.S. photojournalist.

In Paris he presented his photographs as the work of a fictitious rich American, Robert Capa; the deception was soon discovered but he kept the name. He first achieved fame as a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War (1936). In World War II he covered the fighting in Africa, Sicily, and Italy for Life magazine; images of the Normandy invasion are among his most memorable works. In 1947 he founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson and David Seymour. He was killed by a land mine while photographing the French Indochina war for Life.

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▪ American photographer
original name  Andrei Friedmann 
born 1913, Budapest, Hungary
died May 25, 1954, Thai Binh, Vietnam
 photographer whose images of war made him one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century.

 In 1931 and 1932 Capa worked for Dephot, a German picture agency, before establishing himself in Paris, where he assumed the name Robert Capa. He first achieved fame as a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War. By 1936 his mature style fully emerged in grim, close-up views of death such as Loyalist Soldier, Spain. Such immediate images embodied Capa's famous saying, “If your pictures aren't good enough, then you aren't close enough.” In World War II he covered much of the heaviest fighting in Africa, Sicily, and Italy for Life magazine, and his photographs of the Normandy Invasion became some of the most memorable of the war.

      After being sworn in as a United States citizen in 1946, Capa in 1947 joined with the photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson (Cartier-Bresson, Henri) and David (“Chim”) Seymour (Seymour, David) to found Magnum Photos, the first cooperative agency of international freelance photographers. Although he covered the fighting in Palestine in 1948, most of Capa's time was spent guiding newer members of Magnum and selling their work. He served as the director of the Magnum office in Paris from 1950 to 1953. In 1954 Capa volunteered to photograph the French Indochina War for Life and was killed by a land mine while on assignment. His untimely death helped establish his posthumous reputation as a quintessentially fearless photojournalist. Publications featuring his photographs include Death in the Making (1937), Slightly Out of Focus (1947), Images of War (1964), Children of War, Children of Peace (1991), and Robert Capa: Photographs (1996).

Additional Reading
Richard Whelan, Robert Capa: A Biography (1985, reprinted 1994).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Capa, Robert (Friedmann, Andrei) — (1913 54)    American photographer, of Hungarian origin. Born in Hungary, he settled in the US in the 1930s and became famous for his photographs of the Spanish Civil War, China, North Africa, and Normandy landings in World War II as well as the… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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