Annie Leibovitz is an American photographer best
known for her portraits of celebrities such as the nude, pregnant
Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair, Mick Jagger, and John
Lennon for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz
Many of her photos are controversial, including
the ones she shot of then 15-year-old Miley Cryus for Vanity
Fair in which the young actress and singer seemed to appear
topless, which outraged some parents and caused discomfort for
The cover pictures that Leibovitz shot of John
Lennon naked, lying next to a fully-clothed Yoko Ono were the
last photographs taken of the singer before he died five hours
later on December 8, 1980.
Annie Leibovitz was born October 2, 1949 in Waterbury,
Connecticut to parents of Jewish heritage. She and her family,
which included six siblings, moved frequently as their father,
Sam Leibovitz, served in the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant
Annie Leibovitz began taking photos when the family
lived in the Philippines where their father was stationed during
the Vietnam War. At the San Francisco Art Institute she studied
painting, and dabbled in writing and music, as well as continued
to experiment with photography. Her work was influenced by the
Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank and French photojournalist
Leibovitz began her career in photography with
Rolling Stone magazine, which launched in 1970, and three years
later she was appointed chief photographer by publisher Jann
Wenner. She held the title 10 years. During her time with Rolling
Stone, she covered many high-profile artists, including the
1975 concert tour of The Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger.
Leibovitz's work attracted Vanity Fair magazine,
for which she began shooting in the 1980s. Her work for American
Express during that time, shooting a succession of celebrities
for the credit card company's ad campaign, earned her a Cleo
award in 1987.
Other notable achievements during her
career included being the first woman and second living
portraitist to have an exhibition at the Smithsonian National
Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. In addition, a significant
showing of her work took place at the Brooklyn Museum
from October 2006 to January 2007.
The exhibition was based on her book, "Annie
Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005," which featured
her family, her children, many celebrities and writer Susan
Sontag, with whom she was romantically involved.
In 1991, Leibovitz replicated photographer Margaret
Bourke-White's daring act of hanging from a gargoyle from the
61st floor of the Chrysler Building in New York to photograph
dancer David Parsons, who was dangling from another gargoyle.
A photo of Leibovitz during this wild feat by photographer John
Loengard was published in the New York Times.
While Leibovitz has been a wildly successful photographer,
she has had financial problems and almost lost the rights to
all of her photographs, which she had put up as collateral to
pay off millions of dollars in loans.
She was sued by Art Capital Group, which
later dropped the lawsuit, but now Brunswick Capital Partners
has filed a lawsuit against the photographer.
Still Annie Leibovitz remains one of the most
famous photographers in modern history, who is still alive and
The Rumor Mill
The rumor mill has stated that besides the accurate
biography of Annie Leibovitz presented above there is still
one lingering piece of gossip that is yet to be confirmed and
that is that during this past Halloween, Leibovitz dressed up
as a ninja, kicked Chuck Norris in the face, then tickled him
with a feather and lived to tell about it.