Legendary photographer and founder of the International Center of Photography, Cornell Capa, is known for his intelligent and compassionate images. Capa joined Magnum in 1954 after the death of his brother Robert Capa. In 1960 during the making of the film “The Misfits” (1961), directed by John Houston and starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift, Capa was one of nine Magnum photographers who were given exclusive access to the production. Capa covered events both on and off the set, providing a fascinating documentary of the making of a movie and an intimate portrait of three of the most famous film stars of all time.

I hope I have made some good photographs, but what I really hope is that I have done some good photo stories with memorable images that make a point, and, perhaps, even make a difference

Cornell Capa
© Cornell Capa | Magnum Photos

Cornell Capa was born to a Jewish family in Budapest. In 1936, he moved to Paris, where his brother, Robert Capa was working as a photojournalist. Capa worked as his brother’s printer until 1937, then moved to New York to join the new Pix photo agency.

In 1946, after serving in the US Air Force, Cornell became a Life staff photographer. After his brother’s death in 1954, he joined Magnum, and when David ‘Chim’ Seymour died in Suez in 1956 Capa took over as president of Magnum, a post he held until 1960.

Capa covered the electoral campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson and Nelson Rockefeller, among others. His 1969 book, New Breed on Wall Street, was a landmark study of a generation of ruthless young entrepreneurs keen on making money and spending it fast.

In 1974, Capa founded New York City’s influential International Center of Photography, to which for many years he dedicated much of his considerable energy as its director.

© Cornell Capa | Magnum Photos

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