Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970. Her pictures have appeared regularly on magazine covers ever since, and her large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the most well-known portraits of our time.
Leibovitz was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. Her father was a career officer in the Air Force and her childhood was spent on a succession of military bases. She began taking photographs for Rolling Stone while she was still a painting student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her first major assignment was for a cover story on John Lennon. She became Rolling Stone's chief photographer in 1973 and by the time she left the magazine, ten years later, she had shot one hundred and forty-two 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 Leibovitz 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. In addition to her editorial work, she subsequently created several influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning work for American Express and the Gap. She has also collaborated with many arts organizations. Leibovitz has a special interest in dance, and in 1990 she documented the creation of the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris.
Several collections of Leibovitz's work have been published, most recently A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005. She is the recipient of many honors. In 2006 she was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. The previous year, in a compilation of the forty top magazine covers of the past forty years by the American Society of Magazine editors, she held the top two spots (#1 for the photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken for Rolling Stone the day Lennon was shot, and #2 for the pregnant Demi Moore in Vanity Fair). Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.