Annie Leibovitz (American, b. 1949), My brother Philip and my father, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1988, chromogenic print, photograph © Annie Leibovitz, from Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005
Annie Leibovitz’s distinctive portraits have been
appearing on magazine covers for more than 30 years.
Born in Waterbury, connecticut, Leibovitz spent her
childhood on a succession of military bases, as her
father was a career officer in the air force. While
studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute,
Leibovitz took night classes in photography, and in
1970, she began doing work for Rolling Stone magazine.
Her first major assignment was for a cover story on
John Lennon, and in 1973, she became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer.
By the time she left the magazine—
10 years later—she had shot 142 covers and published
photo essays on scores of stories, including memorable
accounts of the resignation of Richard Nixon and the
1975 Rolling Stones tour.
Leibovitz joined the staff of Vanity Fair in 1983,
and in 1998 also began working for Vogue. In addition to
her magazine editorial work, she has created influential
advertising campaigns for American Express, the Gap,
Givenchy, The Sopranos, and the Milk Board. Leibovitz
has published several books and exhibited widely,
including shows at the International Center of
Photography in New York and the National Portrait
Gallery in Washington. Her exhibition Women opened
at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1999.
Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors, including
the Infinity Award in applied Photography from the
International Center of Photography and the Barnard
College Medal of Distinction. she is a Commandeur in
the French government’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
In a compilation of the 40 top magazine covers of the
past 40 years, produced by the American Society of
magazine editors (2005), Leibovitz was awarded both
number one (for her photograph of John Lennon and
Yoko Ono, taken for Rolling Stone the day Lennon was
shot); and number two (for her iconic image of Demi
Moore, made for Vanity Fair). She has been designated
a Living Legend by the Library of Congress and one of
35 “innovators of our time” by Smithsonian magazine.
Leibovitz lives in New York with her three children:
Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.