1949 Waterbury, Connecticut
The American photographer Annie (actually Anna-Lou) Leibovitz, born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut, is famous for her portrait photographs. She graduated from a program in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she also discovered her love for photography. After a brief stay in an Israeli kibbutz, she returned to the US, where she began to work as a photographer for the music magazine "Rolling Stone" in 1970.
Within two years, the 23-year-old Annie Leibovitz had worked her way up to the position of chief photographer for the magazine. During the following eight years, she rose to be a star photographer with her pictures of numerous famous musicians. She succeeded in breaking through with a photograph that shows a naked John Lennon embracing Yoko Ono. The picture was taken on December 8, 1980 – just a few hours before Lennon’s murder.
Annie Leibovitz made portraits of numerous musicians such as B.B. King, Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson and accompanied among others the Rolling Stones and Alice Cooper on their tours. All told, Rolling Stone published 142 covers by Leibovitz.
After eight years she left the magazine and worked for "Vanity Fair" and, beginning in 1998, for "Vogue". Her photographic style also changed: her portraits of film stars, musicians and artists such as Clint Eastwood, David Byrne and Jeff Koons become ever more extravagantly posed. Especially well known are her photos of Whoopie Goldberg taking a bath in milk and the very pregnant Demi Moore.
At the end of the 1980’s, Annie Leibovitz photographed a few large advertising campaigns and became acquainted with her future lesbian partner, the journalist Susan Sontag. In 1996, she was the official photographer of the Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta (Olympic Portraits).
Leibovitz’s photographs are exhibited internationally and published in numerous books. She now lives in New York with her three daughters.