Paul Almasy

Three-year-old child eating at the Institute of Scientific Research, Lwiro, Democratic Republic of Congo
WHO/Paul Almasy

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906, Paul (Pal) Almasy originally trained to be a diplomat. After completing studies in political science in Vienna and Heidelberg in 1928, he took up photography. In 1934 he emigrated to France, and throughout the 1930s and 1940s he worked as a freelance journalist in Europe and North Africa.

For 20 years starting in 1955, Almasy produced over 100 photo stories for WHO, travelling to each WHO region. His work was often published in the WHO magazine, World Health.

In addition to WHO, Almasy worked for UNESCO and the International Labour Organization. He taught photojournalism in France and Hungary and in 1978 was awarded the Master of Photography Award by the Council of Professional Photographers of Europe. Paul Almasy died in 2003.

Resurrection of the Eskimoes: Canada, 1959
For a photo report on health services for Canada's Inuit community, Paul Almasy travelled to the Northwest Territories to photograph aspects of community life including schools, hospitals, recreation, and home life in the towns of Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik, where a hospital had recently been built. The photographs taken during this trip were used in several World Health articles.

Tokyo, the world's largest city: Japan, 1960
In 1960, the population of Tokyo surpassed that of New York City, making it the largest city in the world. Paul Almasy travelled to Tokyo to photograph health services in the context of urbanization. His report covered health inspections in the market, prostitution, water supply, health centres and health education campaigns. The report appeared in World Health in 1961.

The dangerous age for African children: Democratic Republic of Congo, 1959
For this photo report for World Health, Paul Almasy visited the Institute for Scientific Research in Lwiro to combat malnutrition in central African children.

"As a photographer my main interest is in people and the "human condition", which I try to portray without any concessions. Whatever happens, I remain firmly committed to reality; I do not sacrifice truth for the sake of technical quality… A photojournalist is something of an historian, and an historian must never lie."
-- Paul Almasy. In: Colin Naylor, ed. Contemporary Photographers, Chicago and London, St. James, 1998.