Transcript:

Speaker And so Cappa and Hemingway.

Speaker I I don't pretend to to know Hemingway very well.

Speaker In my solo clients with Hemingway as it comes through copper, when Copper reached London, as I recall, about January 1944 and it was a couple of months later when Hemingway came, he was a correspondent for Collier's. And Koppa decided to throw a big party for Hemingway and we were all invited. And he called for papà, as he called him. And the party that's when I met Hemingway and. It's funny, Ed Thompson, who later became life's longest term managing editor, was there and was serving and Shafe Intelligence and he was a colonel and Thompson was at that party and Thompson had had been a very important life editor before he was in the service. So Bob introduced Hemingway to Thompson as Ernest.

Speaker And Thompson didn't even realize who he was until the party was finished.

Speaker Um, and, uh.

Speaker Were they were they close friends and what was the basis of it?

Speaker I don't think they were terribly close friends. I think they were they had had met in Spain. And Martha Gellhorn perhaps was a closer friend of Bob's than Hemingway was. We all witnessed the commencement of the beginnings of Hemingway, Hemingway's love affair with Mary Welch, because she was a time correspondent in the London bureau. And so we saw them saw that going on, I saw it first in London and later in Paris, what was it about Cappa that would have drawn Hemingway or vice versa to become friends? Well, I think I'm sure it was a friendship that derived from from their common experience in Spain. I think that's where it happened. And Koppa had also made a wonderful story for life about Hemingway in Sun Valley, which was published in 1940 or 41 something.

Speaker But.

Speaker Let me finish the story about the party. It had a hilarious ending in a way, when when the liquor ran out about four, 30 in the morning, we all decided to go home. And I was living with Frank Social Life photographer and Upper Wimpole Street. We had a car and we offered Papa a ride home. I don't remember where he was living, perhaps at the Dorchester. At any rate, Papou had had accepted an offer from Dr Gore, Peter Gore, another person at the party, and Hemingway got into the front seat of Gore's car and Gore promptly drove into a water tank and Hemingway went through the windshield and into the hospital. So a day or so later, Koppa visited Hemingway in hospital with Pinki and when he photographed Hemingway in his hospital bed, all bandaged up like a like a Turkish sultan and which made a full page in life.

Speaker But there was another picture on the role that I that I saved for myself. And that was a picture of Hemingway when he got out of bed and to go to the bathroom and Pinki lifted the back of his hospital gown, exposing his his very large rear. And that's a delightful picture, which I of which only one print exists. And that's in my archive at the University of Chicago.

Speaker And we hope to include it. Oh, yes. So tell us about the party before you all left. Well, what was going on? What I think you just got out of hospital.

Speaker Well, Pankey wasn't at the party because she I think she was recovering from an appendectomy. She was seriously embarrassed. And I don't think I can tell you that story.

Speaker But but the party itself, what was going on like that, I. I don't remember.

Speaker No wonder you could talk a little bit about maybe you can't because you said you didn't see much of Hemingway. I mean, what much of cappa before D-Day. But I was kind of stuck in London waiting and I wanted to write about that.

Speaker Well, everybody looked to to copy to.

Speaker But this time he you know, he did have the reputation of being the Great War photographer reputation, which was a mixed blessing for him. I think he had many reasons to hate that reputation because it was a challenge to live up to, because it was a challenge to live up to.

Speaker I mean, you know, once you're called the greatest the world's greatest war photographer, first of all, it doesn't make your colleagues feel very happy. I mean, it's an insult to to for quiet and Jane Smith and all the others who photographers who were who work at it very hard and dangerously.

Speaker But secondly, it's a challenge to to take even to continue taking risks, and I still speculate as to whether.

Speaker That was one of the underlying factors in Bob's decision to go to just one more war on the war in Indochina, which was one or two many.

Speaker But.

Speaker Well, that's idea I have the day story. Let's do the D-Day story, Capa's role in photographing the OK.

Speaker OK, and what happened? And again, try to be concise. You know, obviously, the main points are he risked his life to do this, right, passed out. He was us. But then you got the negatives right into the negatives. All right.

Speaker Bob had been on the Italian front in the winter of forty three. Forty four. And he had been a terrible, terrible scene there. And so when he came to London, I took it easy on him. I didn't try to make him work. I let him have his time off. And indeed he I think he only did one one or two stories. And in the months before D-Day, I'm based in the London office. So I let the other guys do the work and I felt he'd earned his keep.

Speaker So.

Speaker Photographers were under a war time pool was not just life photographers who were covering the war.

Speaker It was the three wire services as well that was associated, united and international. They had different affiliates anyway.

Speaker Many Chinese take a drink of water from a very important part of who I know, and I'm doing it too long again. Um, well, just just stick with Cappa. I'll stick with Compa. You know, you don't need to know about the pool. No, not really. Well, in one way I'm going.

Speaker My OK. Yeah, you're OK.

Speaker All right, um, everyone look to cover for the for the great pictures of the invasion and indeed he chose to go with the infantry and land on the beach that was codenamed Omaha in Normandy.

Speaker There's a cemetery. OK, so I. John, there's a siren on.

Speaker There's I wait until the subway goes, that's that's you'll hear the subway, of course, and the other room, but that's me.

Speaker I'm but not too bad. It's not bad enough. The subway is that bad.

Speaker It's there.

Speaker Yeah, well, sirens are appropriate anyway, but you might want to of it.

Speaker Right. OK, so this is an important story.

Speaker All right. I'm going to take you there. OK.

Speaker The long awaited day was turned out to be Tuesday, June six, 1944. I woke up that morning, looked out the window, and it was a terrible day. It was gray and rainy. And I hurried to work thinking that, you know, this is it. But there was nothing to do. There was no nothing, no film. So all day Tuesday, we waited for pictures. Late Tuesday night, another photographer from the affiliate of the United Press got a picture, but it wasn't much of anything. He just barely got his feet wet on the other shore.

Speaker So we waited again all day Wednesday and still no pictures.

Speaker Finally, late Wednesday afternoon, the phone rang and it was a message from Portsmouth and a shipment of film from Bob Campa is coming in by motorcycle courier. It arrived a couple of hours later. The whole world was waiting for these pictures. I mean, I had the pool editor who was an AP man, was calling me every half hour saying where are carpets pictures? And I said, well, I would do my best. Finally, the pictures arrived and there was a note from Bob, he said that the action is in the four rolls of 35 millimeter. He'd sent a lot of other stuff which he had taken on the channel crossing. So I told the darkroom to rush development because I had to edit from contact prints as fast as possible. The first word from the dark room, which was on the floor below, was the stuff is great. And I said, fine, I need context. And a few minutes later, this young lad from the dark room came bursting into my office saying the films are ruined. I said what? He just said, they were great. And he said, I put them in the drying cabinet and the emulsion ran. I couldn't believe it. So I ran down to the darkroom with him and I held up the rolls one first, one roll at a time and the first three volleys, it was nothing. You could just it was pea soup. But on the fourth roll, there were about 11 frames that were that had discernible images. I ordered everyone printed.

Speaker But I'm just I'm sorry, I'm just going to stop you because because I know you can tell that story better. It was so quiet, OK? I mean, I think you need to just be a little more hyperbolic. But they said the picture that that has taken is just a little more storytelling. Well, yeah, but just, you know, I a water. OK, so you're waiting.

Speaker OK, do you want me not to start with Tuesday, Wednesday? I mean, is that we've got that. We can use that. I can use that.

Speaker OK, OK.

Speaker And so finally the pictures come in and I give them to the darkroom. And there's a note from Bob who says, look at this, the 35 millimeter wave also again, very good. OK. OK, finally, the packet of film comes and there's a note from COPO saying the action is is all in the 35 millimeter. There were four rolls. So I give them to the Documentum for God sake. I need contact prints for editing Rush a few minutes later. Dennis Banks, not Larry Burrows, it's often been said, came rushing into my office. He was the darkroom lad who had developed the film. He said, they're all ruined. I said, What are you talking about? He's I put them in the house. You're in such a damn rush. I put them in the negatives and the drying cabinet and turned the heat on and the emotion ran. I said, Oh, my God. So I ran back to the darkroom with him.

Speaker I held up the rolls one at a time. Nothing, nothing, nothing. But on the fourth roll, there were eleven frames that had images. And those are the great images of D-Day. And that's what it was all about.

Speaker And somebody said something about those 11 images were made even more precious by this accident.

Speaker Yeah, I might have said that's going to do anything to go.

Speaker Well, yeah. Figure out ways of.

Speaker It's ironic that in a way, the very fact that there were so few pictures and the fact that they were kind of fuzzed up by the conditions under which cop is shot, you know, were terrible. I mean, it was early morning light. There wasn't any light. So there's not much depth of focus. And that's what is the title of his book, Slightly Out of Focus comes from, because when life ran the pictures, they they they said that the pictures were slightly out of focus because he was nervous or something like that, which was the real reason there just wasn't any light. I mean, he was probably shooting very bad, very slow speeds and there was a lot of action going on. So it was no wonder there was movement by. These pictures, for curious reasons, have become even more precious because there were so few of them and they are the ones that Steven Spielberg relied on when he did his great reenactment of D-Day and in Saving Private Ryan.

Speaker Great. That was that was terrific. And I finally had to focus this say his hands were shaking.

Speaker So I always wondered what the the look of those pictures was because of his hands shaking or because of the emotion the emotion melding had nothing much.

Speaker I have to go the bathroom. OK, Tom.

Speaker OK, so I just was asking whether it was his shaking or whether it was the drawing that caused this.

Speaker Look, I don't think it was the I'm not a technician. I don't think it was the the darkroom accident that made it look that way.

Speaker And I'm not sure his hands were could have been shaking, for God's sake. I mean, he was under terrible pressure and all that. And he was it was an awful scene, obviously.

Speaker I attribute it partly to the fact that he probably was shooting at a twenty fifth of a second and and it's not very fast. So that's pretty much.

Speaker And what was his reaction when he found out and you talked to him that.

Speaker I've often been asked how Bob reacted when he heard of this.

Speaker And the funny thing is, he never reproached me for for that accident, he was it never interfered with our friendship. He could easily have been really upset and and I was responsible, I mean, I didn't physically make the mistake, but I was in charge and. He never what would have happened if we had had a total loss?

Speaker I can't say, but that's why we lucked out.

Speaker I mean, locked in, which is it?

Speaker And. His reputation was intact.

Speaker I mean, he really risked his life, seriously lost his life for those photographs. Oh, of course.

Speaker But I think I think Bob probably resented being called the world's greatest warford, I never heard him say so.

Speaker But that was not a nice thing in terms of the profession for him to be called that, uh, you mentioned that before, that you covered that.

Speaker Yeah. Or so. OK, let me just I'm just prioritizing here because we're running out of time.

Speaker And this was sort of this is actually going back in time a little bit, but I'd love you to describe the scene at the Pastoria and the scene at the Scriven when you are talking about, well, let's just do the story. What happened?

Speaker The story before D-Day.

Speaker Nothing happened at the testimony before DNA. The story wasn't involved, wasn't that where he was hanging out at that time or was that late? That was later, OK. You know, you're not going to get much useful for me. I mean, Pastoria became the Magnum headquarters after the war, had no relation, apparently. I just in reading Weland, I it's mentioned that he moved there at one point. But it's I never heard of the pastor. I until 1953, 54, 53.

Speaker OK, let's talk a little bit about that. But you do you can talk about the scream and what happened.

Speaker Again, I don't have anything great to tell you. The best story about the scream, I think is I can the. All right picture. OK, that's the one that we talked about holding up. Do you want me to do that or not?

Speaker Can you think of. Can you get it clear in your head and just think about it? Yeah, yeah, let's do that is through the various people are what was going on. Um.

Speaker The Scream Hotel, which had been the German press headquarters, was taken over by the allied correspondents after the liberation of Paris. That's where we all lived and moved in there for a couple of days and then scorned it to move into the Lankester because Charles Burton Baker, the senior correspondent for Time Life, was at the Lankester. And and so that enabled Bob to get a little bit out of my control, I guess. And but the screen was the hangout for the war correspondents and the big downstairs room, which was a had a bar and where we all hate, even though we eat army rations, was was the meeting place for correspondents. There's a wonderful painting which caricatures the correspondents, including Koppa. It was it was done by Floyd Davis, who was one of the artists commissioned by Life to record World War Two. That's something that people forget, is that life also had a very distinguished core of of artists who went maybe eight to ten or a dozen who covered the various battlefronts around the world.

Speaker Who are some of the people in that picture?

Speaker Well, that's why I need the caption.

Speaker But Ralph Morris and Dave Sherman of Life, Will Lang of Life, Will Will Lang was a correspondent who had come up from from the the forces from the south.

Speaker Um.

Speaker I think H.R. Knickerbocker is in it, no, Bush was a left writer.

Speaker I think Janet Flanner is in it, The New Yorker writer Michael Worton, Baker is definitely a worthwhile. No, I thought he was dead by that time.

Speaker OK, great.

Speaker Actually, maybe Ernie wasn't dead, but he certainly he was in the Pacific.

Speaker OK, let's talk about how you became head of Magnum.

Speaker OK.

Speaker In a spring in 1947, Bob came to New York, it'll be nuts to me he was having a great affair with Ingrid Bergman at the time. But what he did confide in me was that he was he he was trying to establish a new picture agency, a cooperative agency with our old friends, George Roger and Ari Cartier-Bresson, whom I had met through Bob it right after the liberation of Paris.

Speaker And and Jim. So great idea, and I was picture out of Ladies Home Journal and I was their best customer, I conceived of this series called People are People, and Bob decided to grab all as much of that as he could for Magnum photographers. And furthermore, he told me he was going off to Russia with John Steinbeck.

Speaker So I said, fine, let me be the first to see your pictures.

Speaker I'm just going to drop the once that you can just go on from there. But Judy's hearing so you can just go on from there. So he was going to go to Russia with Steinbeck.

Speaker What are you hearing? Keep your fingers on the a crazy person, but it's fine.

Speaker Just so he was up with that, so I never thought he'd make it.

Speaker Steinbeck got his visa fairly easily. He was in kind of a hero in Russia.

Speaker But fortunately, Steinbeck refused to go unless COPO could go with him. And that summer they set off.

Speaker When they came back, Koppa kind of hid from me the reason being that he had agreed to do a Russian family if he got there and he hadn't done the Russian family, he had instead done a Slovakian family on the way home just so I'd have a family from behind the Iron Curtain.

Speaker So we met at the Algonquin and he gave me his apology. And then I said, just let me see your picture. So the next day or two later, I looked at the contact sheets and I looked at his proof prints and I looked at his color. The Ladies Home Journal was the the great women's magazine of that time. We were number one. And but we needed color to make a big splash. We couldn't just do black and white the way life did. So he hasn't even bothered to look at the color. He was not very comfortable with his color. He thought it had been badly processed in Russia. And I just insisted, so I looked at his color. It wasn't even cut up, it was still in strips. So I found just one cover picture, a picture of a Russian peasant woman which was suitable for a journal cover, and I just so I took that away from him that day. I said, well, let me have this and I'll I can do something with it.

Speaker So.

Speaker A few days later, I took a a full size mock up of this cover to my editors at Ladies Home Journal, but I kept it under a flap and I showed them the black and white prints, which were easy for them to look at.

Speaker And the journal was edited by Bruce and Beatrice Gouldman and wife are great editors. And Bruce first looked at the prince and I could see he was getting interested. And then Beatrice came into the room and she looked at the prince. And then I said, OK, this is what I like to propose, and I took the wrapper off the cover and I said, I do this. And about 16 pages, which is I knew was the maximum we could do. So they looked at each other and looked back at me and Bruce, who always made the business deals, and how much would it cost us? And knowing that Bob would have accepted 5000 dollars as a great fee, I said, wow, 25000 dollars if you want to exclusive from kept away from life and. So Bruce said, see if you can get it for 20 years.

Speaker So I said, OK, I'll try. He said I said, what about Stubbies? And I'll take care of Steinback, which he did. So I went back to my office, called Copp, and I said, I'd like to meet you at touchers for a drink.

Speaker And there I broke the news to him and he couldn't believe it even now.

Speaker And Steinbeck got 3000 for his copy. For his captions, Gould simply called his agent, Elizabeth Ortiz, and said, We'd like John to write some, you know, write some captions for these pictures. And and because I had to rewrite them anyway, because I had to make them fit.

Speaker Now, do you know the story of what this woman said to Koppa?

Speaker One of the reasons I cherish this picture is that Bob told the story. She was harvesting cucumbers in the field and she held up a cucumber and said if only men were as important as if only men say, oh, not again, because we'll have to do that for you.

Speaker That would be so. Yeah.

Speaker And the reasons I care is that OK, but what was the exact quote? How do I make her quote that if only men were as interesting as interesting, men should be so impressive. Impressive.

Speaker OK, ok.

Speaker So I forget the reason.

Speaker Yeah. You know, one of the reasons I love this cover is that Bob told me the story of this woman when she looked up from harvesting cucumbers, held up a cucumber to him, said if only men were as impressive as this.

Speaker That's a great story. I love that very thing, too.

Speaker OK, now, you mentioned Cappa with Heidi because he came back. He didn't think that he had good stuff. And in this case, obviously worked out very well. But I'd love you to talk about some of the frustrations of working with Cappa financially or when you wouldn't send cash and stuff like that. It's a little bit we get you know, that's what this guy was the same.

Speaker Well, in case you think that my working with COP, it was just constant honeymoon, that's far from the truth. It was when I began working for him rather than when he worked for me, that the trouble began because in 1952, he came at Christmas time to New York and he said, it's time for you to join us up. At that time, I had been America's I mean, Magnum's best customer in America. And so he said I said, well, how much can you pay me? I was making fifteen thousand dollars a year as picture editor, Ladies Home Journal, which was a good salary at that time. I was perhaps the one of the highest paid picture editors in the country, but that doesn't mean very much. So he said, well, well, we're paying Pat Hagen, the girl who was running the office 65, and we'll double that. So that's thirteen thousand. I said, well, that doesn't doesn't impress me that much.

Speaker He said, but you get to come to Paris. So I said, OK.

Speaker So I I consulted two friends, Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art, who had just been in Paris and just I knew that Steichen had visited Magnon Paris office, which I hadn't seen. And I visited Ed Thompson, the managing editor of Life, and asked him, and they both said the same thing, if you if if you get along with Koppa, go ahead and take it. And so I agreed and I called Cap and we meant to celebrate at the end of the Oak Room Bar at the Plaza Hotel. And we hadn't agreed on my title. And standing next to me was was T.S. Matthews, whose title was executive editor of Time magazine. So I looked at Matthews and looked at I. How about executive orders? OK, that's you. So I'm actually the only executive editor that I have ever had. And others have occasionally intimated they had this job. But that's not true.

Speaker So so tell us about you know, tell us about a time when it didn't come through.

Speaker It just said, oh, I feel like I used to fight with him over the.

Speaker I my biggest fights with Kopit would be about money. I mean, he he was always afraid that I would spend money and make them into into the dirt. And I said, if we don't spend money, we're not going to make money. And he was very European in his in his penny-pinching attitudes. Not as bad as shamokin was much even more cautious than copper. I mean, copper was a gambler.

Speaker And but you see, when he hired me to run Magnum, he was taking Magnum's best American customer and making that customer a liability by having to pay him a salary.

Speaker So it was it was a tough decision for him.

Speaker But other times he didn't come through for you for assignments either when you were a lifer at Magnum.

Speaker Well, I gave Bob and I gave Bob an assignment in Paris, which where he didn't show up.

Speaker And I went and covered the story myself, I'm not I'm not really a photographer, but I've often joked that I only cover a story if if the photographer doesn't show up. This was in September 44, and it was the first meeting of the Communist Party of France after the liberation and at the at the Velodrome DVR, which was normally a bicycle track. And I covered it. And one of my photos made the lead picture in life.

Speaker I've often wondered why he didn't show up. I'm not sure that at the time I thought it was just because he he scorned the assignment. I'm not I now, on reflection, think maybe he thought it was dangerous politically to show up at a communist gathering.

Speaker And, you know, what about money? You mentioned you had an argument over money.

Speaker Well, I almost quit Magnum after the first year because he I insisted that we double the budget for Magnum.

Speaker And he was very cautious. He you know, we had a big fight about that. I don't remember.

Speaker But I mean, Bob could be an annoyance. My first wife refused to invite him and Jamie out to our house because she thought that having an unmarried couples sleep over night was a bad role model for our kids.

Speaker And the other time was he visited us at a party we gave in Los Angeles and he stubbed out his cigarettes on her and her wooden salad bowls. But she didn't like.

Speaker But I you know, I don't I don't I don't have any.

Speaker I think I understood. From where he worked fairly well and. I kept I gave them a very loose leash, that hat and life.

Speaker I gave him a go ahead, and so I was just going to ask you if you could just briefly say what the philosophy of Magnum was.

Speaker But really briefly, I know that and we have it that it was said that photographers had the right to their own pictures, but what were they taking pictures about?

Speaker Magnum has no creed.

Speaker It's only Creed is that each individual owns his own stuff. All Mangrum flowers are freelancers and nobody's guaranteed anything. And so that's what I used to call collective insecurity. Um, but I think there is something that binds them together, at least in my day. I'm not sure I can say the same thing today, but in my day, I think that the photographers were concerned about society. They were also concerned about about beauty. But I mean, Ernestas, for example, this is a Magnum photographer who reflects that transition. Ernest resented being a journalist. He was he was he was a good journalist, but he really wanted to be an artist. Cartier-Bresson or something else kind simply calls himself a photographer. He refused. If he speaks of himself as an artist, it's only because he's only referring to his his paintings and sketches. Kadeer had a show of both paintings and photographs in the.

Speaker In a town in Burgundy several years ago. And there were about 70 sketches and about 15 photographs. And it was reviewed primarily as a as a show of paintings.

Speaker And I wrote him a card and said, Ari, if you're not careful, you're going down in history as a painter, not a photographer, to which he replied in another postcard, I'm just a jack of all trades.

Speaker That's a good story that I've never heard before. That's great.

Speaker Yeah, that's really great. I want to talk about the but again, it has to be brief because we're running out of time and. OK, you know, Kappa's passport being confiscated by the American embassy in Paris. Why?

Speaker I had I had been at Magnum only a couple of weeks when I received a big fat envelope from a marked personal and confidential.

Speaker It came from the Paris office, from from Bob.

Speaker And I opened it and he told that when he had returned to Paris after saying goodbye to all of us, he had been summoned to the embassy and they asked for his passport. And and and he wrote about this in a very humorous terms. But he said, I left the embassy naked, as naked as a child with a baby. It was very serious. I mean, he without a passport, he was helpless. He could no longer be a journalist. Why? It took us well, he needed to travel. He had an assignment at that very moment to go to to Italy to photograph John Houston's production of Beat the Devil. And Houston was waiting for him. So it was it was it was a true crisis and we had to fight it hired a fancy New York lawyer, it costs a lot of money. He went to Washington, saw Mrs. Shipley at the State Department. She was the keeper of passports. And it was it was it was it was a case, obviously, of mistaken identity. I don't know. I never did learn what the charges were.

Speaker But he was vindicated, he got his passport back and was it related to Cold War fears?

Speaker I think it was definitely related to the Cold War psychology.

Speaker I think that's another thing that drew us together. I.

Speaker Bob and I had been war correspondents together. But we were both against the Cold War, I think in general, Magnum's against the Cold War. We believe that and the equality of peoples, I think we knew we were against racism.

Speaker We believe that people should have a fair shake around the world.

Speaker Do you think is going to Russia had something to do with its security?

Speaker I doubt it. It may have. Uh uh, I don't know.

Speaker Uh.

Speaker OK, let's get to the last chapter of the story. OK, so what happens in Japan, huh?

Speaker And you got ok, ok, I'll try to do it short.

Speaker In the spring of 54, Capa was invited to take a Magnum exhibition to Tokyo and to photograph there by Mainichi.

Speaker It was a great opportunity for him and after two weeks he was unfortunately offered an assignment by Life magazine to cover the French war in Indochina. For four weeks I had to offer him the assignment and to my my shock, he accepted it. And left Tokyo to go to Hanoi and to cover the war.

Speaker Now, I've always been confused about why you felt compelled to offer it.

Speaker I imagine the photographer is I was only acting as his agent and I, I could not have refused to offer him an offer that was made through me. I mean, it's just no way. I mean.

Speaker And. So anyway.

Speaker When I got when I got word that he accepted the assignment, I was shocked and I telephoned to him from my home in Armonk. I called Tokyo and I almost I yelled at him and it was like yelling across the Pacific Ocean. I said, you know, you don't have to go. This isn't our war. I mean, it really spooked me. So he said, don't worry. You know, I'll be back in a month. I'll see you in Paris and in June.

Speaker So he went and I went off to Missouri to teach a Missouri workshop at the University of Missouri workshop in a small town in Mexico called Mexico, Missouri. And on Monday morning, May 25th, Enga Bondie awakened me in my hotel room. By anybody was the New York deputy, my deputy in New York at Magnum.

Speaker And she said, John, I have terrible news, Werner is is dead. They found his vehicle went over a cliff and in Peru and they found his body. Well, I knew that Rosalina Bishoff, Werner's wife, was nine months pregnant. I had seen them off. They had spent Christmas with us in Armonk. And I was terribly concerned and I said to try to keep it out of the papers until you can get to Rosaleen as doctor to break the news to her, and I said, I'll get back to New York as fast as I can. So I was driven to Chicago and flew to New York and my wife met me at LaGuardia that evening. And we drove home, and just after we arrived home, the phone was ringing and it was a life researcher. And she said, I suppose you've heard the news. May I ask you some questions? I thought she was talking about Werner Bischoff, and I said, you know, of course. She began asking me questions about copper. I said, what? So that's how I learned that Koppa and I learned of the death of these two men in the same day. It was too much. So the next day, I conferred with Cornell and and Julia. About arrangements, and Julia was totally distraught. She didn't know what to do. Nothing was good enough for her boy. And somebody suggested the Arlington National Cemetery because he was a hero. And she didn't want that, nobody wanted that. Somebody suggested peerless shares because that's where Big Brother was and there have been too many girls since Garita.

Speaker Why not Arlington, because he because it would have a yeah, I don't take it why why not Arlington?

Speaker It he was not a soldier. He hated war. He didn't it was we just we instinctively felt I mean, there was no I don't remember who proposed Arlington. Somebody did well and should be able to tell you. But now I just went against the grain. I don't think there was any any conflict. OK. So anyway, the normal solution for a non-religious Jew is to have a funeral home service and a Jewish burial. That didn't appeal to Julia. She felt that that Bob was was more than Jewish. And maybe that's a bad way to put it. But he wasn't just Jewish.

Speaker He was a man of all faiths, a man of the world.

Speaker And I and so I proposed the solution I had I was I had joined the Quaker meeting and in Purchase, New York after the war, even though my first wife was the daughter of an Episcopalian high church clergyman and and so on.

Speaker And I had recently been to a Quaker funeral and a Quaker funeral. This is like a Quaker meeting. Anybody can talk. There's no no priest. There's no music. There's no no no ceremony.

Speaker So I described such a service and to to Julia and Bob and Corneau.

Speaker And they they bought it, so we agreed we we arranged a memorial service, which was really just a meeting at the Quaker meeting house and purchase, and it was a memorial to both Bob and Werner. And it was it was a very moving occasion, Edward Steichen sat beside me on the facing bench and the clerk of the meeting, I guess, was on the other side.

Speaker And there were messages and there was a telegram from Burgmann and Telegram said.

Speaker And after that, it should be in the archives. I pretty sure think it would be. And the way it climaxed when. When?

Speaker Cornell stood and put a prayer shawl over and recited Kaddish and as if that weren't enough, just stood up and wailed. And I mean, it was the most incredible thing she and. And that was the that was the end, nobody following that, as I recall, did Julia.

Speaker Stand next to that one. What was she doing physically?

Speaker She stood up and she and Cornell was a Quaker meeting.

Speaker This has its just rows of benches. And then in front in front, there's what is called the facing bench, which is normal. And usually two or three senior members of the meeting sit on the facing bench.

Speaker In this case, I was there with the clerk of the meeting and Steichen and several other people, Julian Cornell and members of the family were in the front row facing the facing benches.

Speaker And after Cornell sat down, there were a few others and a Quaker meeting.

Speaker There's always silence between which is broken at various intervals by whoever wants to say something. So after Cornell sat down, Julia arose and did her thing. It was incredible.

Speaker The reason that the reason that this court got away for this afternoon. Wafer. Yeah, sorry. OK, all right. Let's do it. Just like this. Yeah. Just give me one second.

Speaker So, John, I'm just going to I'm sorry to harp on this, but it's just so important for the. Can you just describe again what Julia did and really describe, because I read a description, but it was heartrending.

Speaker Yeah, um.

Speaker At the end of the service, I mean, as the service, as the hour. I mean, nobody determines the length of a service in a Quaker meeting. It's not a service. It's a meeting, a meeting for worship as the Quaker term.

Speaker But if you ask Cornell if that was a Quaker.

Speaker I'm not sure that it doesn't matter. What did I tell you?

Speaker OK, so first Carnel reciting college and sat down and then Julia Rose. And she just wailed, I don't remember saying much of anything. She says she was in full alert all in the morning. She was in such distress. And we perhaps know that that Julia now lies in a cemetery, and I'm sure the reason that Bob was buried in that cemetery and not a purchase was purchased was simply running out of room. I mean, the cemetery was was getting crowded and. There was a meeting at Amell Walk in northern Westchester County that's about 20 miles from purchase, but maybe you could just say that Julian Kaeppeler very.

Speaker OK. So we.

Speaker When the when the when Bob's casket was returned from Hanoi 10 days later. Members of the family met at the Quaker cemetery in Milwaukee, where he was buried. And now has his mother, Julia, lives beside him. And on the other side is Edith Edith Compa.

Speaker And that's become a kind of permanent quick or permanent memorial.

Speaker And was the burial itself a separate event? Yes. Were you there? Yes. OK.

Speaker When it came time for the burial, which happened on a pleasant, sunny afternoon. Family and close friends gathered at the cemetery. Perhaps 30 people all together. And a young photographer came over the hill and started taking pictures. And anybody said to me, John, what would you ask him to stop? And I didn't know this photographer and I started as being in consideration of NGO's request, I started to go to him and then I stopped and I said, oh, my God, we reburying. I said, I can't. So pictures of that event were taken by Dirk Hulston, who has since spent most of his time in the last 10 years covering the White House for Time magazine.

Speaker And did did Cornell or Julia also do things at the burial or was that just really just the burial?

Speaker Well, or did she know she she was she stood right by the grave, of course, and Cornell comforter, I stood off to one side.

Speaker It was emotional, but I don't I can't I don't remember, I.

Speaker Something must have been said by somebody, but I don't know what excuse my laughter.

Speaker It's all right. And when you think back on the day that you've heard of this death, how do you. What feelings come up about Dr..

Speaker I couldn't sleep last night because I knew this was coming today. And I reviewed in my mind the events of that that day. I remembered how it began in Missouri with the news of Werner Bischof.

Speaker And I was thinking it was Eric Rosalina and it was unbearable. And then to come home and get the second shock. It was just too much. As soon as I pulled myself together that night, I, I drove into New York to the Magnum office and placed a conference call to The New York Times and AP and UPI International News.

Speaker And dictated obituaries of both boys. I knew that Bob would get his share anyway because he was well known, but few people knew Werner and I wanted to make sure that Werner got his due and the papers. So there were brief Ovid's for Werner Bischoff and of course, the longer ones for the Bobin is was covered well covid.

Speaker And is that day then still with you?

Speaker I'm afraid it is, and I can't seem to escape that day and that's why I didn't sleep last night. And I found a copy of a letter I wrote to Rosolino the following day. And it's it's it's hard to read, you know, when Bob's film came back, I. It was developed, I think, in Life magazine. And they gave me my own set of contact sheets for Magnum, for Magnum distribution and. I looked for the last picture on the black and white camera, and when I found it, it was in the middle of a row. I ordered that it be printed with the black sprocket holes around the frame.

Speaker And that's the way we distribute it, it's raining and talking and talking about Bob Kapa, I'd like to go back to 1936 because that was my senior year in college, University of Chicago.

Speaker I majored in political science, but I had my ambition was just to be a journalist. I decided that very young. And in 1936, the war in Spain broke out and students, several students from the University of Chicago went there to volunteer an international brigade. And in the spring of 1937, they got me to head the student strike, as it was called, it was its formal name was the student strike against war and Fascism. And I became conscious of how the peace movement was divided between the religious pacifists and the Trotskyists and the Communists and the Socialists, and so I became politically aware at a fairly early age. And that fall I started a student magazine that even published pictures of the Spanish Civil War, one by Bob Kalpa and one by Chhim.

Speaker I'm going to ask you to go back just a little bit because it was a siren. So if you could just start with, you were in nineteen thirty six.

Speaker You were in college involved in the peace movement. Just that succinctly and then about how you feel about the future.

Speaker I was a senior at the University of Chicago in nineteen thirty six to seven and I became politically involved because the campus was involved. It was a very liberal school and we had students of all shades of opinion from communists to extreme right. And I was a student editor. And in the 1937 in the fall I started a magazine called Pulse and we actually published pictures by one photograph by Bob Capa and another by David Seymour. I didn't know they had taken them because they were simply handed to me by a Spanish war relief without credit.

Speaker And later Chhim pointed out that those he said, that's Bob's picture and that's mine. But I thus became aware of international politics. And Chicago was considered a very liberal, open minded school. And indeed, it was my my hero at that time and throughout my life actually was Robert Maynard Hutchins, the president of the university. And I majored in political science. But my my objective was simply to get a job working for Henry Luce on one of his magazines, Time or Life or Fortune. And I was kind of a lazy writer. So I ended up when I finally got there on life rather than time, I wasn't a good enough writer to compete with John Hersey and Teddy White and people like that. But I enjoyed working with photographers and I enjoyed going out with them. And we had very we had five student photographers who became professionals who worked on that magazine. So I finally made it to New York as an office boy at Timing and November nineteen thirty eight.

Speaker Let's let's go back because I'd like you to talk to close the front gate, OK?

Speaker Let's be.

Speaker OK, so I'm going to ask you, when you first saw a photograph, your visceral response to it at this time in college, you don't need to see we've got that.

Speaker But you can start when I first saw this picture, I was about to happen. But your response to this picture, what it meant when you published it?

Speaker Way back when I in my senior year at the University of Chicago.

Speaker Nineteen thirty six to seven. Life magazine appeared for the first time in November. And that really got me excited. It furthered my determination to get a job in New York working for timing. That was my only goal. I majored in political science and a crazy way. I worked with Robert Capa before I ever met him because I actually published one of his pictures in the student magazine I edited and another by his friends, Jim. But were these pictures? They were pictures of the Spanish. The pictures that we published in the student magazine were pictures of the Spanish Civil War.

Speaker Several University of Chicago students went to fight in Spain, in the International Brigade. One or two actually died. We published letters from them in the student magazine. I had call police.

Speaker Do you remember which exactly which part of the picture it was?

Speaker OK, I remember the ship, the ship.

Speaker No, no, that was so we talked about the phone. I saw the picture now or do you want to hold off?

Speaker I had heard of Bob Koppa because I saw his pictures in life. After all, he he came to fame with almost as soon as life started, his first pictures were published in one of the first issues of life. And in 1937, I had just graduated from college when his famous picture of the falling soldier was published. I didn't think much about it at the time, except that it was a great picture. I still think it's a great picture, but it really bothers me when people say that it's a setup. I mean, that's ridiculous. I mean, compared to us, he'd never take the trouble to set up a picture like that in the first place. But it's just not his it wasn't his bag. I do have a strange theory about it, though, and that is and this theory is borne of having worked with the carpet on the front lines and at Sam Malone and Britney on the edge of Britney in World War Two.

Speaker My theory is that more basically is pretty boring, the moments of actual action are very few and far between, and when soldiers are sitting around with nothing to do, they tend to fool around. Who wouldn't? And my theory is that. The soldiers who charged down that hill and there was more than one because Bob made pictures of another soldier also charging down a hill, were perhaps soldiers just seeing fooling around on the front saying, hey, you take my picture photographer.

Speaker And the first one ran down the hill, fine. And his pal ran down the hill. And the enemy having been alerted by the first one.

Speaker Shot the second one. That's almost exactly what happened to me at the siege of Somalo.

Speaker It was one day in August 1944, and I was there with Bob Cowpat, we'd been staying at Mausam, Michele, because it was a comfortable place to stay and overnight and one could go out to cover the war in the daytime. And we worked up to an observation post on the beach, which was several miles out of town, you can see the city in the distance and there was a German garrison there that was fiercely holding out despite the fact that they were totally surrounded. And Bob, settle down in the in the the bar of this pulsing home, which was the observation post. And he chewed out a lieutenant colonel who was the artillery commander of that division because this commander couldn't make up his mind whether to talk to the Germans and talk them into surrender or whether he wanted whether he should shell the hell out of them. And Bob despised him for being indecisive and said, why did you ask the Germans what they want?

Speaker So the officer turned on him, said, well, you speak German, I don't. Why don't you ask him? So Bob was actually going to walk into the into the German lines. Somebody brought out a pole and tied a white handkerchief on it. And he took off his camera and gave it to me and I and I thought, oh, my God, what a story. I got to follow him. So he saw what I was going to do. So he said, you stay here, you've got kids. But that wasn't the story I meant to tell you.

Speaker It's a great story.

Speaker Fortunately, he never it never won a further because a machine gun started firing and the whole thing broke up.

Speaker So we could you probably should say, of a few that started firing, so capital came back so that he didn't go, hey, no, he just stayed in the bar with a machine gun, started firing.

Speaker So about that time, so stayed. And a little while later, I went out in the garden to see what was going on. And I was talking to a soldier, a guy there were also some French Resistance soldiers there, and they were looking one through field glasses of the Germans on the beach. And I asked this guy where the where the German position was, he said, come on, I'll show you. So he took me one block inland from the beach and across the street.

Speaker And he crossed to the opposite corner and back into me to follow, and when I when I followed him, a shot rang up.

Speaker And he crouched down behind the stone wall and said, well, that's funny, it didn't happen the last time I was over here. And I said, Yeah, it's pretty funny. So he said, when you go back, when we go back, you better run for it. And I said, you don't have to tell me.

Speaker So he ran first and I ran second and there was another shot. Well, that's kind of my theory about the Spanish soldier. But because there are two kalpa pictures of Spanish soldiers coming down that hill and one of them, it's not the same soldier as the as the one who was killed. And we now know that one, the name of the soldier who was killed that day and nobody else was killed.

Speaker So it kind of fits to me that it was just horseplay in the beginning and it turned deadly serious.

Speaker You might say also that relatives of this person found it was determined he did die on that day in that place.

Speaker And in recent years, it's become very clear that because research has been done to determine the name of the outfit that was fighting that day and the records had been searched, I think, in Madrid, which would show that it was I think his name was Garcia or something like that. Federico Garcia.

Speaker But I just infuriates me when I hear a journalist such as our English friend denounce a question, that picture on the basis that it was a setup. It's just it really burns me up.

Speaker I brought this book that we found the other day, and I just want I just thought would be good for you to take a look at the smaller picture, which I think proves what you're saying, and maybe not take it back, but. They just like to look down when you're on camera. Yeah, but I just want to see if I knew it.

Speaker There's another picture that Bob took at the same the same day that shows soldiers waving their guns in the air, kind of celebrating. And again, I think that perhaps was it was taken before all the action occurred. I mean, that's that's my theory.

Speaker Must have been because the guys in it is the guy in it.

Speaker Yeah, I didn't realize that. Keep rolling. There he is. Right there. So. Oh, that oh, that's great.

Speaker Yeah, I didn't realize that.

Speaker In fact, I hadn't come across this other picture is one that I hadn't actually come across until very recently in London.

Speaker There's a great exhibition on the Spanish War, which is called the Spanish Civil War Dreams and Nightmares. And it was indeed a dream and it was a nightmare.

Speaker And you might just comment, Jenny, do I know I just was looking at the box. Oh, OK.

Speaker And you just OK, you're worrying.

Speaker And do you want to just say anything more about that picture and your theory? Because you see the guy before?

Speaker Well, that that picture gives an added dimension to my theory, which is that there was nothing much going on.

Speaker As I say, war is 95 percent boredom just waiting. It's in action. And then something happens, which is usually unexpected.

Speaker And.

Speaker I I spent four weeks with Koppa in Normandy and Brittany, I had no need to, I was the London picture editor of Life and World War Two, and my primary responsibility was to get ready for the invasion of Normandy. And we had six photographers. It wasn't Koppel alone who covered the invasion for Life magazine. There were five others who were all active on D-Day, but he was the one who actually landed with the American infantry on Omaha Beach.

Speaker And that's that day, June six, 1944, was was the greatest crisis in my life up to that point, because for months I had been there with the assignment of getting life.

Speaker Exclusive pictures for just a second. It sounds like when I drink of water. Yeah, I really try to bring the audience to you. Yeah, right. OK. I was the one. And you obviously, Nancy, you cut every time she's talked.

Speaker Yeah. I mean, it's usually not always.

Speaker Not always. If it's just a quick question. Yeah. OK, I just changed. I'm trying to change français so you can think about.

Speaker Yeah. That doesn't put any time pressure on you. She's in fact it helps her because usually when I'm talking and answering, asking a question she'll be doing a zoom to get a different shot.

Speaker Oh. So that's helpful for her to have a little fun. OK, been stuff for water, whatever you want. Yeah. OK, we will cut this short cut around the closet.

Speaker OK, so we, we're getting into D-Day. Do we go back and set the scene. I yeah.

Speaker Now I've gotten out, I've, I've gotten out of the mood now talking to guys. So let me go back to back to let's go back to start Captain New York. Yeah I think so, yeah. Because I'd like to get get rid of that.

Speaker Um, in 1938, November I finally got a job at times. I mean you can't believe that it was almost impossible for a University of Chicago graduate in political science, an honors graduate, all that to be unemployed six months after graduation. In fact, it was more than a year after graduation. I went back for another graduate year because there were no jobs. So finally about I got a job. It's not as an editor or even a reporter for time or life. It's as an office boy. Twenty dollars a week. So that's where I was when Bob Capek came in 1939 to New York.

Speaker But I didn't actually meet Bob until I was a I had made the the staff of life as a reporter, researcher.

Speaker I was called and that was that came in with the outbreak of war in the summer. And Hitler invaded Poland. And the first of September, I got married on the 30th of September. Uh.

Speaker And Bob came to New York that winter, and my clearest early memory of him is going skating on the Rockefeller Center rink, which we used to do at lunchtime, the time life building is not the one it is now. It was it was one that was immediately on Rockefeller Plaza, nine Rockefeller Plaza. And so we a bunch of us on the editorial staff of life would go down and skate at lunchtime. And Bob thought that was a good idea. I didn't realize he wasn't much of a skater. I'd been skating since I was a chick. And so when I saw Bob out on the ice, it was a real comedy. He could hardly stand up and he grabbed on to the arm of Bobby Locke, who was down longwalls assistant, and she sort of pulled him around the ice. And in a few minutes, he he and Bobby just really tripped on something. And they both went down and I looked around and the executives of time and I often eat in the restaurants, which I joined the rink rink side.

Speaker And I looked in and I saw the general manager of life and the magic after just breaking up with laughter when they saw what had happened to copper.

Speaker But I interpreted that story as cappa pretending not to skate well so that he could latch on to a pretty girl.

Speaker I don't know. I never saw Bob Saeki.

Speaker He became a good skier, but that I never saw him skiing. I but I have seen him skate and I would not say that he was a particularly good skater, whereas I used to play backyard ice hockey.

Speaker Maybe you could just go back and tell the story a little bit once again of you've got skating with Bob at lunch time. He wasn't a very good skater, but he latched on to a pretty girl, something. The name Bobby won't mean much. So I get your.

Speaker I remember the day that we persuaded Bob to go skating with us at lunchtime on Rock on the Rockefeller Center rink. And what did he do? He grabbed on to the first pretty girl he could find and let her guide him around the rink until finally they crashed right in front of a plate glass window. And I looked in and I saw several executives of Life magazine in there enjoying enjoying lunch, but enjoying even more that scene. It was great. It's just lovely.

Speaker It was great. OK, perfect.

Speaker OK, now, you also knew him in the early 40s when he could not get over to. Well, let's see. Let's go back to the time when he was stuck in New York and he couldn't go over the war because he was an enemy alien. So.

Speaker Well, he had he had a citizenship.

Speaker He sort of had to get married in order to become an American citizen. And fortunately, he found somebody who would do it.

Speaker She deserves a medal of her very own.

Speaker And I've kind of forgotten her name now. Did you meet her?

Speaker I must have met her at the time, but she didn't hang around much.

Speaker And I knew Bob and Tony. Got married simultaneously with two very good friends of mine, Hadsell, me, Senator Hagel. And Hounsell wanted no part of this whole thing, but out of feeling sorry for Bob talked Hounsell into doing it. So they drove from New York to Maryland, where you could get married without much of a wait and talk to justice of the peace and to marrying them, and then drove back to New York and the two couples started fighting on the way back.

Speaker And it was it was really pretty sad.

Speaker And, uh, when when they got back to New York, Tony just got out and took the subway home. It was an incredible wedding night. But she was she did her job, not her.

Speaker Not much of a marriage.

Speaker Not much of a marriage. Bob, I saw Bob with many women, I shouldn't say many, but.

Speaker Girlfriends who would have loved to marry him, but he succeeded in avoiding marriage. Why do you think?

Speaker Well, I guess you could say he was married to his work partly.

Speaker Oh, it's very complicated.

Speaker Well, it's interesting to me that he told you, don't come with me. You have kids. Yeah.

Speaker Now, he appreciated family life, and he was he was close to his mother. At the same time, he resisted domination by his mother, his mother was a ferocious animal, and she she really.

Speaker Could have easily made him into a mother's boy.

Speaker But he wasn't having having that let's let's talk about Julia, what is the first time that you met Julia?

Speaker Um, in the winter of nineteen thirty nine forty. When I first met Bob, he soon invited me to a party at his mother's apartment on the Upper West Side. It was the first time I'd ever heard the word Lacco, which I maybe I don't even pronounce it right.

Speaker But that's a Hungarian feast. And Julia love to cook for not just for Bob and his brother Cornell and and Edie Cornell's girlfriend, who became his wife that year. But for all their friends.

Speaker So it all seemed to add up usually to about 27 people, it seemed to me, when they had a party and WD Sixth Street, 9th Street, whatever it was.

Speaker And that's when I that's when I first got to know the whole Koppa circle, was Julia Wong to you?

Speaker What she was what was she like to you?

Speaker Oh, she was extremely warm. But Julia had a would later come to have a very serious problem with me and that she couldn't help but associate me with with Bob's death after he died.

Speaker Let's not go there now. But that's right. That's good to know. But you said it somewhere, I think in your book, get the picture that Julia was an actress.

Speaker What did you mean by by by Julia being in what way? Which you've been.

Speaker She loved attention. She loved attention. She loved the stage. Bob was her creation. I mean, she was she was actually mean to Cornell. She wasn't really as nice to Cornell.

Speaker And there had been another child, a a boy who had died. Whom I never met. Actually, it was. It's it's difficult to describe Julia Scriber physically.

Speaker Uh, she was a large, big bosomed and.

Speaker Uh, squat look like a little.

Speaker You know, in profile, yes, I would say, uh, Bob, Bob resembled her.

Speaker Turtleneck up just a little. Up, up in the good for. Like for the scientists, there's are.

Speaker And speeding on your hand, I can't see the numbers and Mark.

Speaker OK, so Julia and Bob, how would you characterize their was it a normal mother son relationship or. But what was it like? It seems like it was kind of special.

Speaker Julia wanted to be the center on center stage, and she you know, I think Bob was was very dutiful.

Speaker He he wrote to her. He he probably shared confidences with her. I'm not sure about that. But I do know that when Bob was in love with Ingrid Bergman after the war, Julia was one of the few people who was in on the secret. I didn't even know that was going on. And it was going on under my under my eyes. I was in New York at the time that she was performing on stage in New York. And they were and this affair was going on. And Julia was busily sewing a skirt for, uh, for Ingrid Bergman without a word to the outside world. And she was I'm sure she was very proud of the fact that her son was having a romance with Ingrid Bergman.

Speaker There was a wonderful Turkish gal who Rose, what's her name, Roset, who was living with Julia the year that she was a student at Columbia University.

Speaker And Rossett, who who only died in Paris two years ago and told me how Julia enjoyed making that dress and what a big secret it was.

Speaker Yeah, Cornell told us that when Bob told them, he said, Bush, you know, that closed mouth.

Speaker So and I guess him you could talk a little bit about Bob's discretion and things like that because he's got a reputation as a real womanizer. But he also was quite honorable.

Speaker Oh, he was. Yeah. Oh, I think so. I think he kept kept a lot. And and I don't pretend to know all of Bob secrets. I've traveled with him. I've I've been under fire with him. I've fought with him mostly about money, because when I was responsible for running Magnum, he was the president of Magnum and held the purse strings. And so we we frequently tangled about things like that.

Speaker On the other hand, each of us had confidence in the other.

Speaker It was a peculiar relationship. I've I've never quite understood why I felt so close to Bob or because we were so different in a way. I mean, like I was a corny Midwesterner and he was born in Budapest and he was Jewish. I was Protestant when I finally saw the apartment house in Budapest where he grew up. It sort of rang a bell because I grew up in an apartment house in Chicago and he grew up in an apartment house and I'm like the bourgeois side Pasada Budapest. And I grew up in an apartment house on the south side, which is the unfashionable side of Chicago. There was a difference, however, we were both surrounded by pretty interesting people. When I walked to school, I walked past the homes of two Nobel Prize winners, and Bob was probably could have gone to a cafe, a nearby cafe, and had a great music and talked with, you know, seen poets and Hungarian intellectuals at work. Hungarian physicist. I mean, Enrico, not for me, but Leo Zijlaard came from Budapest to Chicago, and I was one of the pioneers of the atom bomb. So we both grew up in and in areas that were that were sort of bourgeois. We were both middle class, you might say. Uh, but we also had we grew up in communities that were intellectually stimulating. And maybe that's something that you see, I never had a brother.

Speaker I had a good education for. You say this part is at some point they could drink water. Sure. It wasn't getting so dry. Again, you probably need a refill. Their water of you. It's right. It's over here.

Speaker Um, yeah. OK, can I get you a and Margaret.

Speaker OK, so you're talking about your feelings, your relationship to to to keep up in a familial way, so. What about that?

Speaker Well, I've wondered so often what it was that that put us together, that brought us together because I think it was somewhat mutual. I always thought of Bob as my as kind of a brother. I didn't have a brother of my own. I had a sister, but she was a Republican and that wasn't much help.

Speaker Don't ask me that again, because if you could have swallowed it doesn't tell us like. Well, did are you telling a funny story? I mean, it's well, it's heartfelt, but it's also the punch line is funny.

Speaker Um, soon after I met Bob, I, I adopted him as a brother. I had a sister, but she was a Republican. So what good was that?

Speaker That's great. That's what my brother. Polygamist.

Speaker OK, and. How long did this brotherhood last?

Speaker It's it's still, as I now think of Cornell as my brother in those days, I didn't really learn to know Cornell very well until after Bob died. I must confess, I saw him fairly frequently in the early years of Magnum, but our work at Life magazine didn't bring us together.

Speaker Cornell was working in the life darkroom when I first when I was started at life and he went into the army and only got out of the army, he became a life photographer and a very fine one. But he was sent out of town. He was sent to Texas first and then to London. So we didn't we didn't really work together to me. Cornell was the kid brother.

Speaker Bob is three years older than I and Cornell is 18 months younger. So I was in the middle when Bob died. I, I adopted Cornell and I feel very brotherly toward him even today. I call him every few days. Now I keep in close touch with him. And to that extent he has replaced Bob. In my heart, it's very important.

Speaker Since we're on canal, you might just say what Cornell has dedicated his life to since Bob died.

Speaker When Bob died.

Speaker Cornell stepped into Magnum. And I would say that Cornell was the person who who fulfilled his brother's role in Magnum.

Speaker In a different way, he was more organized than Cornell, than Bob. But imagin wasn't enough, Magnum had always stood for the rights of the photographer and credit to photographers. Cornell took it a step further. He now that Bob was gone, he wanted to preserve the work of Bob and of Warner and Hachim when Jim was to die. Two years later. And that's what inspired Cornell to create the Fund for concern photography concern, by the way, as a Quaker word, I. Cornell borrowed Quakerism from me, I'm I'm the Quaker influence. Cornell doesn't like to play that up anymore, but he he took on concern as his own word and he's welcome to it. But in any event, I think that's good.

Speaker I think that's the main thing was kind of I think because the Wright brothers were great. You're here on the left. Just fly off the great fly away here.

Speaker We can't have that, I just I just love it. I've never had so much attention from women in my life.

Speaker I've got that. We got this room. Just fix it here. Right on the left.

Speaker Kind of come behind you that said, you know, I was a Hollywood correspondent when I was 20, 24 years old, and I'll never forget going on the set at Métro once and watching Ingrid Bergman, not Ingrid Bergman, watching Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play a love scene that was so funny.

Speaker It was a close set, but I got sneaked onto to the set and it was Woman of the Year and Tracy was in bed and and Hepburn comes in and says, we're going to have a baby. And Tracy gets all excited. And she said and then she said, is this because she adopted a Greek orphan?

Speaker But the thing was that that Hepburn couldn't she giggled every single time. She couldn't do it straight. So they had to take do take after take. So this is nothing. This is nothing. You guys have it easy.

Speaker OK, let's go back to the time in New York. The war has begun and. Couple's been married. Well, you talk about how you became an enemy alien alien and he was stuck in New York and the assignments he was sent out to do after to.

Speaker Well, by 1948, 1940, I became an assistant to Wilson Hicks, who was the picture editor of Life. So my job was to help find assignments for photographers. It was a great privilege. My God, we could choose from Margaret Bourke-White and Eisenstat and Jane Smith and Philip and all these fantastic big name photographers. And we'd, you know, just call me, decide who was going to do what. So anyway, copper was a problem. There was only there wasn't any war he could go out and cover right then. And he was technically an enemy alien. So what do we do? Well, fortunately, he he had great political instinct.

Speaker Most Hungarians do, I think.

Speaker And we sent him to Florida to cover Senator Taft, who was fishing, literally fishing for the Republican nomination. The newsreels had been called into for a photo op, were a phrase that was unknown in those days. But that's what it amounted to, to show Senator Taft, who was has a reputation as being a very stiff, straight type, to show that he, too, could be a man of the people. So what does he do? He goes to appear and and casts his line into the water. So he pulls up a fish.

Speaker Well, the fish was already on the line.

Speaker And so he did this time after time with the same fish. Well, it was he was doing this because there were five different newsreels. And if one one male missed another one, the other guys would take it easy to say, OK, do it again. So Karpovich just calmly photographed the whole procedure.

Speaker And life made a very funny story, which was very embarrassing to Senator Taft. I once encountered him later when he was running against Eisenhower for the Republican nomination in 52. And I ran into him accidentally at the Detroit airport and I was tempted to ask him about the fish, but I restrained myself that are not.

Speaker So I'm not sure it's clear. I don't quite understand. How did he cast a fish was already on the line. OK, tighten up more us.

Speaker One of the stories we sent cover on was a photo op was a word that was unknown then.

Speaker But anyway, that's what it was to Florida to cover Senator Taft trying to humanize his campaign by showing how he he could fish just like anybody. Well, the trouble was that Taft was fishing for the newsreels and there were five newsreels. So he had to pull in the fish five times each time it was the same fish. So Capa just quietly stood back and observed it and photographed the whole sequence. It was hilarious. It just made a marvelous spread in life.

Speaker And then he show them casting with a fish on the line or did he show them putting the fish?

Speaker I've seen these pictures of, well, what would happen? I imagine the Taft would pull up one fish and pose with a camera, pose with a fish, and then the that would be for the Fox News reel man. And then the Paramount guy would say, well, do it again. So then he put the same throw that they'd throw the fish in the water and they do it again for Paramount.

Speaker That's the way it went. The fish was already on the line, but the fish was on the line.

Speaker That's what those photos exist. Yeah, they're there and they're in the in the in the magazine.

Speaker Yeah, it's not as funny in the magazine.

Speaker It is the way I tell it, but it's OK, it's a good story.

Speaker The other story that I know about anyway was Spin City.

Speaker Yeah, well, Calumet City was it was an outlaw town and the Illinois Indiana line. And there's an old Chicago and I knew something about it. And another place we sent carpeting. Get him. We'll get him out of sight was the Chicago bureau where he encountered Myron Davis, among other people. And Meyvis Myron was his nemesis. But anyway, a story idea came up for doing the life of Calumet City, which was primarily a honky tonk town with bars and stuff. It was really pretty rough and shocking. I don't think Kopit was particularly shocked, but they were probably shocked when he came in. I have no idea. I wasn't there I mean, I I did work in Chicago for life later on, but.

Speaker I don't remember any single incident that happened in Calumet City, was this the same time as the Elkhart story in New Mexico?

Speaker Uh, roughly.

Speaker Yeah, it was it was basically the year nineteen forty forty one when he spent most of his time in the States and why couldn't what was going on abroad and why couldn't he get there.

Speaker Well. The war in Europe.

Speaker I mean, it takes it's like a minute, that's good.

Speaker Yeah, it's a little hard to summarize the word or two sentences or two was going on and he was stuck in America.

Speaker Yeah, I couldn't get there.

Speaker Yeah, I didn't get there. Yeah.

Speaker Bob came to America at one of the worst times of the war in Europe. And it must have been very frustrating for him because he couldn't be there. Hitler had marched into Poland in September thirty nine. And by June 1940, he had conquered all of Western Europe except Spain, which didn't interest in.

Speaker He wanted to go on and conquer England and thank God he got stopped. But here was Bob out of action because he was a refugee again. You could say that Bob was a professional refugee, he was a first a refugee from Horthy, the Hungarian fascists, and which drove him to Berlin in 1930 to. That he was a refugee from Hitler who took power in Berlin in 33. And Bob went to France, if he had been in France in 1940, God knows what would have happened, he would have either been captured or he would have succeeded in getting across the border to Spain or Portugal and making it to the states, as so many, so many lucky people did.

Speaker Like Philippe Halsman, who was a good friend of Bob's, and if he had been captured in France after Hitler took over, what would have happened?

Speaker God knows he might have he might have ended up in Auschwitz in the furnace the way Eric Solomon did. Eric Solomon, who was was the very first of the great German photographers and made the mistake of being in in Holland at the time when we went, Germany took over Holland and he was he ended up in the oven.

Speaker Do you think that that of the fear of that was why Cappa didn't leave New York to go to Europe and photograph the war?

Speaker Well, he first place he he had he would have had a hard time getting a passport. Koppa would have to say he still had Hungarian citizenship, his marriage to and his exile again, he had to he had to exile himself for six months in Mexico even after his subway marriage. He had to to live six months in exile and did some very good work in Mexico. That would have been 1940, I think.

Speaker So he had just recovered from. I mean, he was exile time after time. It's enough to be exiled once, but I was forever in exile.

Speaker And it's I think it's one reason that one thing that accounts for the sadness of his life.

Speaker I mean, I don't think of him as a as a happy go lucky character. I mean, I think of him as a man who who really understood the meaning of of happiness and knew that he could perhaps never achieve it.

Speaker That's interesting. You want to take a little walk away from that a little more?

Speaker I think that's I think it's very interesting the contrast between these unloving ways and the depth of his own.

Speaker I think I think Bob, he was a man about copper, was a man without a country.

Speaker Um. And.

Speaker Again, it's it's where I kind of came into I shared his philosophy in a way, because I here I am. I've been living in Paris for 18 years.

Speaker I had and yet I still think of myself as an American. Some people might think of me as an exile or an expat expat as they call Americans who live abroad.

Speaker But I understand Koppa and my own personal philosophy is as expressed in the Ladies Home Journal series, that we call people our people the world over.

Speaker My philosophy is that people are pretty much the same around the world. There are those who would violently disagree with that.

Speaker But when you were you were talking about papà not as just a cheerful, happy go lucky guy, that that's what I was kind of interested in. All right. It wasn't a cheerful, happy go lucky guy. What was the.

Speaker Of.

Speaker Bob was a.

Speaker I was trying to define him as either an introvert or extrovert, and that's difficult. He certainly.

Speaker He was fully aware of of the problems the world. He escaped, he had various means of escape. One was gambling, that's one of his interests that I never shared. The only time I ever shared that with him was when he took me to Long Island. And we bet on the races and I've won a lot of money and he lost a lot of money the same day. But I never join him in his poker playing sessions in which he could lose himself hour after hour. Maybe that's the reason he never got married. He would have he would have had a woman who was harassing him about the money he was losing.

Speaker And then at night, um.

Speaker But I do feel a certain sense, I always felt a certain sadness about.

Speaker I as a family person, someone who who has children, who's who's been happily married, it's it's hard for me to to comprehend somebody who. I guess I inevitably feel that anyone who never achieves marriage and children is not fully fulfilled. So maybe that's just my personal prejudice, my personal.

Speaker You sensed something in him?

Speaker I sensed something in him. Yes. Uh.

Speaker And I've you know, I've spent time, I've spent quiet time, it's I spent Noisey time with Kabam, but I've also spent quiet time. You sit beside him on an airplane, you're flying somewhere. And, you know, you don't have to you don't talk all the time. I'll never forget the flight to from New York to Chicago en route to Des Moines when we flew out for the Ladies Home Journal to do an American family and a farm family in Iowa. And the first thing that happened after takeoff was that Bob asked for an oxygen mask and I'm like, what's this? And he laughed and he said, it's the best thing there is for a hangover. But he I just. I can't help it crack up when I think of the of the of the funny things that happened to the two of us, like the time we were we were staying in this small hotel and I think in Marshall, Iowa, and it was a Sunday afternoon and we had just found the farm family that we proposed to photograph for this great series on people are people. Well, Iowa was a dry state and we hadn't brought anything with us, so we Bob said, well, is there isn't there any place we can get a drink?

Speaker So I said, well, I'll try.

Speaker So we were driving into town, I did all the driving. He was the world's worst driver and I spotted a roadhouse and I said, well, maybe this is it. So I drove pulled in and it was a big empty dancehall with booths down. One side sat down. There was nobody there. But a waitress came up and said and I said to her very plaintively, can we just have a beer? And she looked at me and discussed and she said. It's Sunday and total resignation. I said, oh, just bring us two scotch and sodas. She said, Would you like Hagan heading?

Speaker Sure. What do you want? We just broke up in Iowa. They weren't going to violate the law just for beer. They would only do it for the hard stuff.

Speaker I've been very, very happy. What about like you might want to take a drink? What are they getting like?

Speaker Like what do you take of me?

Speaker Least that I'm still OK.

Speaker So then I suppose I'm going to ask you is. We want to read.

Speaker Now, no.

Speaker Is what Cappa have been called an alcoholic today.

Speaker Not justifiable cop, no, like to drink, but but he drank in moderation. I mean, if you're going to sit at a bar for three hours, you can't drink a lot because you have to space it out. Now, in my judgment.

Speaker Copper was not an alcoholic.

Speaker I just wonder, because it's just he sure like to drink and he sure needed it.

Speaker Well, I see I that's another crazy. I grew up in a home where there was no alcohol.

Speaker I never saw my parents drink. They didn't smoke either, for that matter, and neither did I, which is the main reason I'm healthy. I drink, but I don't smoke. But Bob taught me how to drink. I mean, I as much as any teacher I've ever had to teach you. Well, I just he's my role model. And, I mean, I would I kind of envied him. The role of man about town. I mean, that's not my thing. And so I would observe how he could pick up girls and get in conversation. I remember the day we this goes back to the first time I came back to the first time he pressed Camplin de. From I've been at the front with some other photographer and I was sharing a tent with with Koppa and Ernie Pyle and Bob Casey of the Chicago Daily News. And Bob said, I hear more, Sammy, Michelle has been liberated and the hotels that there's only one real hotel at that time, Poonam. And he said, why don't we move there for a few days? And I said, fine. So Bob and I got in the Jeep and we correspondents were assigned in jeeps and drivers, and that was the great privilege. So we drove to Samachar, we found Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway and Bill Walton of Time magazine already there. I think Mary maybe Larry Wasser of CBS. I don't think so. We we stayed in San Michele for. Two or three days that the very first afternoon was memorable.

Speaker I think we need to do something that somebody wants.

Speaker All right. All right. So you found Hemingway most, Michele.

Speaker So we yeah, we arrive at most. Michelle, it's it's it's just a fantastic place. It looks like the cover of a children's storybook. It's like a castle rising out of the sea.

Speaker But it's actually an old monastery. And I you know, I went Kopit spoke of Motza Michelle. I couldn't even it was beyond my imagination. And we got there and he said, let's take a walk so we walk, there's only one street and also Michelle just goes uphill. So and that one walk of half an hour, Bob made friends throughout the town. He would he'd say a nine year old girl and he was playing at a game or something. And he and he hit her about her boyfriend, you know, and he'd see some men playing and playing cribbage. And he he'd he'd kibitz and tell them what move to make. And he just he just had this wonderful rapport with people of all kinds. And I envisioned that it wasn't it didn't come easy to me. But the funniest thing had happened that day was that this farmer came up and he was he just wanted to do something for the Americans. And Bob said, well, how about dinner? So I sure enough, the farmer got the idea and he said, well, I'll come back tomorrow and you'll be ready. So the next afternoon, the farmer came back to my house and Michel at the appointed hour. And Hemingway and Cooper and Walton and I piled into a jeep with a driver and the farmer clamoring and the running board, there's no running board really in the Jeep. But, you know, he's hung on guiding us out to his farmhouse in the country. But on the way, we had to stop at his neighbors because they everybody wanted to get in on this great honor. They were going to pay the Americans. So we you know, we had quite a bit to drink even before we got to dinner. And then this. The farmer's wife must have been cooking all day because we had we ended up with a real feast and we ended up with homemade coffee eclairs. By this time, it was dark and the farmer's daughter sang sang Breton folk songs in the Moonlight. It was just a night. It was just an absolutely incredible experience. So to go back to Sam, Michele, Michele, we had to cross a bridge across a small river that flows into the sea there.

Speaker And as we're approaching the bridge in in the darkness, of course, the Jeep suddenly disappeared and I was thrown off to one side with with Walton. Walton was laying on his back on land on my knees. And I looked around and the Jeep had gone into a bomb crater and the Germans had been bombing this bridge, but they missed all the time. And the crater is bomb crater was just about the size of the jeep and the jeep was in the hole and Hemingway and Walton and the driver was still there laughing their heads off. Walt and I were groaning, but nobody was hurt mean. We all had too much to drink.

Speaker By the way, you said that Hemingway and Walton and Harper were in the Jeep, but was it only Hemingway and Katherine, the three of them?

Speaker They were in the front seat. Walt and I had been in the backseat. It was the backseat boys. And we have nothing much to hold on. They were holding on to each other and they were in the, you know, the lower center of gravity. We were up higher, so we were tossed out. So anyway, then we we all pushed the jeep out of the hole and crossed the bridge. And then then the German Air Force came by and it was consisted of one plane with a motor that sounded like a like a like an old washing machine, because the Germans really had very little left at this point. But they did send these forays out of whatever they didn't have and they were still trying to bomb bridges like this. So at this point, Hemingway got very protective. And when we heard he heard this plane coming and said, we must stop the Jeep and roll into the ditch, that we all we did that we obeyed his command problem with Hemingway was he always wanted to run the war. He didn't really have any patience at all with that, with ordinary soldiers. I mean, he he felt he could do it better. And a few days before all this had happened, he and he almost got himself and Koppa killed.

John G. Morris
Interview Date:
2002-02-04
Runtime:
1:52:24
Keywords:
None
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-k93125r22h, cpb-aacip-504-5717m04h8d
MLA CITATIONS:
"John G. Morris, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 04 Feb. 2002, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1135
APA CITATIONS:
(2002, February 04). John G. Morris, Robert Capa: In Love and War. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1135
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"John G. Morris, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). February 04, 2002. Accessed August 08, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1135

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