David Seymour (or Chim) was born David Szymin in Warsaw, Poland in 1911. He studied graphic arts in Leipzig, Germany before moving to Paris in 1931. He discovered photography while studying at the Sorbonne and worked as a freelance photographer in Europe until the outbreak of World War II. In 1939, Mr Seymour emigrated to the United States. He joined the US Army and worked as a reconnaissance photographer in Europe. After the war, he stayed in Paris where he, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa founded the Magnum Photo agency in 1947.
Mr Seymour travelled extensively in Europe and the Middle East after the war. His photographs documented armed conflicts, the emergence of the Israeli state, and the efforts of UNICEF to aid needy children in Europe. David Seymour was killed in 1956 while on assignment in Egypt with his colleague Jean Roy to photograph the Suez crisis.
"Chim picked up his camera the way a doctor takes his stethoscope out of his bag, applying his diagnosis to the condition of the heart; his own was vulnerable."
-- Henri Cartier-Bresson, extract from the text written for the tenth anniversary of David Seymour's death