Werner Bischof (1916 –1954) was the first photographer to join Magnum after the founding members in 1949. He was born in Switzerland and his moving and poetic work received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War.
Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948 he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for Life magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture Post, The Observer, Illustrated and Epoca.
He was sent to report on famine in India by Life magazine (1951), and he went on to work in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. The images from these reportages were used in major picture magazines throughout the world.