Annie Leibovitz

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Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz-SF-1-Crop.jpg
Birth name Anna-Lou Leibovitz
Born October 2, 1949 (1949-10-02) (age 70)
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality Jewish
Field Photography
Training San Francisco Art Institute

Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz (pronounced /ˈliːbəvɪts/; born October 2, 1949) is a Jewish portrait photographer in the United States.

Early life and education

Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz is the third of six children. She is a third-generation American whose great-grandparents were Russian Jews. Her father's parents had emigrated from Romania.[1] Her mother, Marilyn Leibovitz, was a modern dance instructor; her father, Sam Leibovitz, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved frequently with her father's duty assignments, and she took her first pictures when he was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War.[2]

In high school, she became interested in various artistic endeavours, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while working various jobs, including a stint on a kibbutz in Amir, Israel, for several months in 1969. Throughout her life on the Kibbutz, she learned to take Jewish concepts and apply them to her photographs.[3]


Leibovitz worked as a photographer for magazines. She travelled around the world and made photos of prominents, most of them Jews. She photograped the pregnant Demy Moore naked, and also John Lennon on the day of his death.


Leibovitz has three children: the eldest, Sarah Cameron Leibovitz (b. October 2001), was born when Leibovitz was 52 years old by using a sperm-bank. Her twins Susan and Samuelle were born to a surrogate mother in May 2005.[4] The sperm-bank usage costed $40 000, the surrogate mother costed $120 000 for each child.

Financial troubles

In February 2009, Leibovitz borrowed $15.5 million, having experienced financial challenges in the recent years.[5] She put up as collateral, not only several houses, but the rights to all of her photographs.[6] The New York Times noted “one of the world’s most successful photographers essentially pawned every snap of the shutter she had made or will make until the loans are paid off.”[5] In July 2009, a breach of contract lawsuit against Leibovitz was filed by Art Capital Group in the amount of $24 million regarding the repayment of these loans.[7] In a follow-up article,[8] the Times explores why an artist of her standing could be in such financial straits, despite a $50 million archive. They cite a "long history of less than careful financial dealings," and "a recent series of personal issues." The latter include the recent loss of her father, her mother, her companion (Susan Sontag), the addition of two children to her family, and the controversial renovation of three properties in Greenwich Village. In early September 2009, an Associated Press story quoted legal experts as saying that filing for bankruptcy reorganization might offer Leibovitz her best chance to control and direct the disposition of her assets to satisfy debts.[9] On September 11, Art Capital Group withdrew its lawsuit against Leibovitz, and extended the due date for repayment of the $24 million loan. Under the agreement, Leibovitz retains control over her work, and will be the "exclusive agent in the sale of her real property and copyrights."[10]

In March, 2010, Colony Capital concluded a new financing and marketing agreement with Leibovitz, paying off Art Capital and removing or reducing the risks of Leibovitz losing her artistic and real estate assets.[11]

In April 2010 Brunswick Capital Partners filed suit against Leibovitz, claiming that they are owed several hundred thousand dollars for helping her restructure her debt.[12]


  1. Lambert, Angela (1994-03-03). "News - Annie Leibovitz". London: Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  2. Cooke, Rachel (2008-02-03). "How I shot my sister Annie ...". London: The Observer.,,2251302,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  3. Annie Leibovitz Biography. bookrags. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sfgate
  5. 5.0 5.1 Allen Salkin (2009-02-24). "That Old Master? It’s at the Pawnshop". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  7. Allen Salkin, "Lender Sues Annie Leibovitz," The New York Times, July 30, 2009 [1]
  8. Allen Salkin, "For Annie Leibovitz, a Fuzzy Financial Picture," The New York Times, July 31, 2009 [2]
  9. Debts closing in on photographer Annie Leibovitz, Associated Press, September 5, 2009, published in AT&T on-line news, retrieved September 5, 2009
  10. CNN, "Lawsuit against Annie Leibovitz dropped," CNN, 11 September 2009
  11. "Private equity firm snaps up chance to help Leibovitz put house in order" by Henny Sender, Financial Times, March 9, 2010 02:00, Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  12. [3], New York Times, April 6, 2010 02:00, Retrieved 2010-04-10.

External links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.