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Through the lens of Swiss photographer René Burri

Swiss photographer René Burri, who died on October 20, 2014, at the age of 81, was known for his portraits of revolutionary hero Che Guevara and artist Pablo Picasso.

Burri, who was born in Zurich in 1933, was hired by the prestigious Magnum agency in 1955, and travelled around the world documenting the major political events of the 20th Century.

Burri was only 13 years old when he photographed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill standing in an open-top car during a visit to Switzerland in 1946.

The photographer’s famous photo of cigar-chomping Che was taken in 1963 during a trip to Cuba. He also captured a number of artists, including sculptor Alberto Giacometti and architect Le Corbusier.

Burri’s photographs received a number of awards and were presented in numerous exhibits, including one at the Museum for Design in his home town of Zurich in 2013.

In 2011 the photographer was awarded the Swiss Press Photo Life Time Achievement Award by the Foundation Reinhardt von Graffenried.

This gallery shows some of the highlights from Burri’s career.

His longtime friend, Bernese photographer Michael von Graffenried, confirmed Burri’s death on Monday. The 81-year-old Burri died in Zurich.

(Copyright: Rene Burri / Magnum Photos)

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR