Yakov Ryumkin (1913-1986) was born in Kharkiv in 1913 He graduated from the faculty of Kharkiv University. From the beginning of the thirties, he worked as a photojournalist in the Kharkiv newspaper «Evening Radio», and then in the republican journal «Communist» (now «Radyanska Ukraine»).
When the war broke out, he was already an experienced newspaperman. He went from bell to bell as a photojournalist for the newspaper «Pravda», the central publication of the whole country. He filmed the defence of Stalingrad, the liberation of Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the capture of Berlin. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War II degree medals.
Writer Boris Polevoy recalls the period when Ryumkin shot at the front: «Even among the restless tribe of military photojournalists, it was difficult to find a figure more colourful and dynamic during the days of the war than the correspondent of Pravda Yakov Ryumkin. In the days of many offensives, I saw Ryumkin in the advanced advancing units, and his passion for delivering a unique photograph to the editor was also well known.»
In the postwar years, Yakov Ryumkin worked in the newspaper «Pravda» and the magazine «Ogonyok».
He shot in the Arctic from the North Pole 3 drifting station.
From the «northern» pictures then a massive book-photo album was formed. When the virgin saga began, the photographer went there with the first echelon and brought an excellent report; all the pictures were vivacious and dynamic.
«He was called our most efficient photojournalist,» recalls Yury Krivonosov, a colleague in the magazine «Ogonyok». Yakov Ryumkin photographed various events that he had witnessed, shot remarkable contemporaries — people of art, polar explorers, sailors, steelworkers and children — the photographer’s great weakness: Fathers and Sons (1950), Boxers and Children (1960s), Future Footballers (1960) and others.