David Seymour - Biography
Chim (pronounced shim, an abbreviation of the surname "Szymin") was the pseudonym of David Seymour (November 20, 1911 – November 10, 1956), a Polish photographer and photojournalist. Born Dawid Szymin in Warsaw to Polish Jewish parents, he became interested in photography while studying in Paris. He began working as a freelance journalist in 1933.
Chim's coverage of the Spanish Civil War, Czechoslovakia and other European events established his reputation. He was particularly known for his poignant treatment of people, especially children. In 1939 he documented the journey of Loyalist Spanish refugees to Mexico and was in New York when World War II broke out. In 1940 he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in Europe as a photo interpreter during the war. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1942, the same year that his parents were killed by the Nazis. After the war, he returned to Europe to document the plight of refugee children for the recently formed UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund).
Sometime after D-Day, Chim met Life (magazine)'s Paris Bureau Head Will Lang Jr. and had lunch with him at a cafe' in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France, along with reporter Dida Comacho and photographer Yale Joel. .
In 1947, Chim co-founded the Magnum Photos photography cooperative, together with Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom he had befriended in 1930s Paris. Chim's reputation for his compelling photos of war orphans was complemented by his later work in photographing Hollywood celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Ingrid Bergman and Joan Collins.
After Capa's death in 1954, Chim became president of Magnum Photos. He held the post until November 10, 1956, when he was killed (together with French photographer Jean Roy) by Egyptian machine-gun fire, while covering the armistice of the 1956 Suez War.
- The Photographs of David Seymour
- DeYoung Museum Exhibit
- NPR Story: Reflections from the Heart
- Chim Home Page