Born in 1949 in Connecticut, USA Leibovitz studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She became interested in photography when she lived in the Philippines, where her father was stationed during the Vietnam War with the Air Force.
Leibovitz began photographing for Rolling Stone magazine in 1969 while still a student in San Francisco. Famous for her iconic images of celebrities, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in 1983 she became chief photographer for Vanity Fair. A regular contributor to Vogue as well, she is the winner of numerous awards and her work has been exhibited around the world. In addition to her portraiture, she has also photographed battered women, and the conflicts in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Rwanda. In 2005, American Photo named her the single most influential photographer working today.
On December 8, 1980, Annie Leibovitz was sent to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono and created the now famous Lennon nude curled around a fully clothed Ono. Several hours after the photo shoot, Lennon was shot and killed. The photograph ran on the cover of Rolling Stone Lennon commemorative issue in January, 1981 and in 2005 was named best magazine cover from the past 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors.