Annie Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. She began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Leibovitz became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer in 1973. By the time she left the magazine, ten years later, she had shot 142 covers and published photo-essays on scores of stories, including her memorable accounts of the resignation of Richard Nixon and of the 1975 Rolling Stones tour. In 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of work that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life. In addition to her editorial work, she has created several influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning portraits for American Express and the Gap. She has also collaborated with many arts organizations. Her large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the most well-known portraits of our time.
Several collections of Leibovitz’s work have been published. They include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs (1983); Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970–1990 (1991); Olympic Portraits (1996); Women (1999), in collaboration with Susan Sontag; American Music (2003); A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005 (2006); and Annie Leibovitz at Work (2008). Exhibitions of her photographs have appeared in museums and galleries all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; the National Portrait Gallery in London; the State Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors, including the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Society of Magazine Editors’ first Creative Excellence Award, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. She was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.