Issue #209  11/5/2014
Noted Swiss Photojournalist René Burri Passes Away at 81
AUTOPORTRAIT, Coronado, New Mexico, 1973/83. (Courtesy of Magnum Photos)
AUTOPORTRAIT, Coronado, New Mexico, 1973/83. (Courtesy of Magnum Photos)

Magnum photographer René Burri died on Oct. 20th after a long illness. The Swiss photojournalist was 81. Among his most famous photos are portraits of Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier, a breathtaking view into the streets of Sao Paolo and his stories of Cuba and Vietnam.

Born in 1933 in Zurich, early on he went to Paris whilst studying with Hans Finsler at the Arts and Crafts school of Zurich. After the premature death of one of founders of Magnum, Werner Bischof in 1954, he became a member of the prestigious photo agency in 1956. His world-embracing engagement as a photographer and filmmaker led him to what became his credo: "We all live in 'one world'."

Martin Parr, president of Magnum Photos, said, "Not only was he one of the great post war photographers, he was also one of the most generous people I have had the privilege to meet. His contribution to Magnum and his unrivalled ability to tell stories and entertain us over this time will be part of his enormous legacy."