David Szymin was born in 1911 in Warsaw. He studied printing in Leipzig and chemistry and physics at Sorbonne in the 30s. A family friend who owned the “pioneering” picture agency Rap, David Rappaport, lent him a camera. He started being known as ‘Chim’ and 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.”
He founded Magnum Photos in 1947, along with Cartier-Bresson, Capa, George Rodger, and William Vandivert. UNICEF commissioned him the following year to photograph Europe’s children in need.
After Robert Capa‘s death he became the new president of Magnum, a post he held until he was killed in 1956.