Henri Bureau/Apis /Sygma/Corbis View on Corbis
Legendary Sygma photographer Henri Bureau died earlier this week in his home country of France. The world of photography has lost an awesome talent, a true friend and supporter of photojournalism.
Bureau was a vivacious, probing soul with a forceful personality. He lived and breathed photography, capturing important events, political figures and celebrities throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.
It all started in Paris — after struggling for several years photographing starlets and famous personalities, his big break came when French agency Reporters Associes hired him in 1966. Ten days later, they sent him to Vietnam, and that was the beginning of the adventures that kept him traveling for 20 years.
Bureau became a staff reporter for Gamma in 1967. In 1973, he was a founding member of Sygma, later becoming editor-in-chief of the agency. After leaving Sygma in 1986, he took turns as director of Presse Sport, editor-in-chief at Gamma, then director of Roger-Viollet.
Throughout his career, Bureau covered the gravity of conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the Six Day War, the Iran/Iraq war; he covered famine and cholera epidemics in Asia; he documented political and civil unrest in cities such as Belfast, Paris, Lisbon and Warsaw; he documented the lives of famous individuals such as Charles De Gaulle, Jacques Chirac and Pope John Paul II.
World Press Photo honored him in both 1974 and 1980 for Spot News.
A retrospective of Henri Bureau’s work can be seen here: