Capa was origionally named Andre Friedmann, and was expelled from his native Hungary in 1931 at the age of seventeen for some relatively minor leftist, antigovernment activities.

"While pursuing my studies my parents' means gave out, and I decided to become a photographer," Friedmann stated, "which was the nearest thing to journalism for anyone who found himself without a language."

Capa first attracted international attention with his up-close, sympathetic photographs of the Spanish Civil War. Not only did the war dramatically pit fascist and anti-fascist forces against each other, but it was also well-timed for a photojournalist: war broke out in 1936, the same year that Life magazine would commence publication and sell out its first 466,000 copies.

He also helped found Magnum photo agency in 1948.

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Robert Capa, while normally classified as a war photographer, mainly took pictures of people rather than the actual action of war. Capa's photos are marked by a remarkable sympathy for his subject and an interest in the effects of war upon the population in general rather than just the fighting soldier.

Capa was the only photographer present at the D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, on assignment for Life Magazine. Unfortunately, of all the pictures taken, only a few survived after the negatives were nearly incinerated in a dryer by a worker in Life's London offices.

Some of Capa's other work includes wartime China and a photo-document of his travels in Russia with John Steinbeck. In 1954, while covering the conflicts in Indochina that would eventually become the war in Vietnam, Robert Capa was killed after stepping on a landmine.

"If your photographs aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."
-Robert Capa

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