Robert Capa

Robert Capa was probably the most important photojournalist in the 20th Century.

Endre Ernö Friedmann (his real name) was born on 22nd October 1913 in Budapest (Hungary). He wanted to be a famous writer but he finally found a work in photography in Berlin. In 1933, he moved from Germany to France because of the rise of Nazism. However, he found it difficult to find work as a freelance journalist. That’s why he decided to adopt an artistic name: Robert Capa (in part thank’s to his girlfriend, Gerda Taro). It was probably the best decision in his live: he rose to fame.

Robert Capa is mainly famous because of his photos of the Spanish Civil War. From 1936 to 1939, Capa worked in Spain along with Gerda Taro. He took the most important photo of his career: a military who had just been shot and was falling to his death.


“Falling soldier”, the most famous picture taken by Robert Capa.From:

Life Magazine published it on its front page on 12th July 1937. That was the moment when this picture, known as “Falling Soldier”, became in an iconic image of the Spanish Civil War. However, there are lots of doubts about its authenticity.

In addition, Robert Capa covered the Second Sino-Japanese War (when he became the best war photographer in the world), World War II across Europe and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Also, in 1947, Capa co-founded Magnum Photos in Paris with David “Chim” Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and William Vandivert. He was sent to cover the First Indochina War too. Tragically, he stepped on a landmine. He died on 25th May 1954.

He would have turned 100 years ago last week. Lots of famous current photojournalists have payed homage to him. Gervasio Sánchez talked about him in 2009:

“Lo considero inmortal no por los riesgos que asumió en sus múltiples aventuras sino por su capacidad de dignificar a las víctimas de las guerras” (El País, June 2009).

Also, we can hear his voice for the very first time. The International Center of Photography has managed to get the unique radio interview Capa gave back in October 1947.

Robert Capa is considered as the father of the photojournalism.

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”, Robert Capa.

By: Sandra Pallarés



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