“The industry has lost one of its most important and influential characters, a real giant and founding father. Our condolences go out to family and friends,” said Aidan Sullivan, VP of Photo Assignment at Getty Images.
Jean Francois LeRoy, Director of Visa Pour L’Image and a close friend said, “Sipahioglu was the greatest photojournalist ever. He helped so many photographers - Abbas, Reza, Patrick Chauvel, etc. - giving them their first assignments. The list is impressive - and is not limited to photographers. He also introduced picture vendors and editors.” He adds: “I remember when I was 20, I visited the Sipa Press offices. I asked to see him, and was told to wait. I thought then that he would never see me - an unknown man. But 10 minutes later I was in his office showing him a crap reportage. At the end of the meeting, I had 500 Francs and an assignment. I was a journalist.”
Goksin Sipahioglu, photojournalist and founder of the renowned Paris-based photo agency Sipa, died on Wednesday at the age of 84, the company he helped create and led for three decades announced.
Born on December 28, 1926 in the Turkish city of Izmir, Sipahioglu launched Sipa Press in 1973 with his US journalist wife Phyllis Springer and the agency went on to represent some of the world’s best known photographers.
A celebrated photographer in his own right, Sipahioglu covered some of the defining news stories of the 20th Century, from the Cuban missile crisis to the Prague Spring and the attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Sipa was one of three Paris-based agencies that dominated photojournalism in the 1970s, and is still a leading player.
After leading his creation for 30 years, Sipahioglu sold Sipa to Sud Communication — a media group owned by the French industrialist Pierre Fabre — in 2001. He stepped down as chairman in 2003.
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