Pioneer photojournalist Cornell Capa, 90, who used his pictures to illuminate social and political causes and also founded the International Center of Photography, died yesterday at his New York city home. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Capa was a Life magazine staff photographer from 1946 to 1954. He later joined the Paris-based Magnum agency founded by his brother, Robert, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson and others. He served as president of Magnum for four years.
He was best known for his empathetic photo coverage on social topics, including the destruction of native cultures in Latin America, mental retardation in children, the aging of the U.S. population, and Jewish heritage. He coined the term
to define the concept of using the craft to illuminate humanitarian issues.
In the 1960s, Mr. Capa produced notable picture essays on the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Ballet School, Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, and the political campaigns of Adlai Stevenson, John and Robert Kennedy, and Nelson Rockefeller
(see a gallery of his work via http://go.philly.com/capa)
The pinnacle of his creative thinking was International Center of Photography, founded in Manhattan in 1974 as a repository for Robert Capa's archives, and to collect, preserve and exhibit the work of others. Over three decades, the center has offered hundreds of exhibitions on the history of photojournalism and the work of about 2,500 photographers. After retiring in 1994, Mr. Capa retained the title of founding director emeritus.