David Seymour – “Chim” was born in Poland in 1911. He studied graphic arts in Leipzig and at the Sorbonne in Paris where he became interested in photography. Chim was a shortened version of his Polish surname "Szymin".
He was known for his graphic photos of the Spanish Civil War and for his "Children of War" project with UNICEF which documented the plight of World War II refugee children. He arrived in US in 1939, and after the beginning of World War II he enlisted in the US army, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1942. In 1947 he co-founded Magnum Photos with Robert Capa, Henri Cartier- Bresson and others. He travelled extensively between 1949 and 1955, fulfilling assignments for major publications in Europe and the United States. After Capa's death in 1954 he became president of Magnum, holding the post until his own death. On November 10, 1956 CHIM was killed by Egyptian machine-gun fire at El Quantara in the Suez while driving to photograph an exchange of wounded soldiers for Newsweek, four days after the end of the 1956 Suez War.
Chim's retrospective exhibit at Beit Hatfutsot from 2017-2018 covered the important stories of the 20th century including the establishment of the State of Israel to which he paid numerous visits and where he had planned to make his home in the future. He was a proud Jew who died bearing witness to the momentous events of this country through the lens of his camera.
His photos can be viewed at davidseymour.com