Marc Riboud is born in 1923 in Lyon. At the Great Exhibition of Paris in 1937 he takes his first pictures with the small Vest-Pocket camera his father offered him. During the war, he took part in the Vercors fights. From 1945 to 1948 he studies engineering and works in a factory. After a week of holiday, during which he covers the cultural festival of Lyon, he drops his engineering job for photography.
In 1953, he publishes his famous « Eiffel Tower’s painter » photograph in Life magazine and joins Magnum agency after meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Robert Capa later sends him to London to see girls and learn English. He doesn’t learn that much English but photographs intensely.
In 1955, he crosses Middle-East and Afghanistan to reach India, where he remains one year. He then heads toward China for a first stay in 1957. After three months in USSR in 1960, he follows the independances movement in Algeria and Western Africa.
Between 1968 and 1969 he’s one of the few photographers allowed to travel in South and North Vietnam. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later ; since the 1980’s he keeps travelling at his own tempo. Marc Riboud published many books, among which the most famous are « The three banners of China », ed. Robert Laffont, « Journal », ed. Denoël, « Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven », ed. Arthaud / Doubleday, « Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism », ed. Imprimerie Nationale / Thames & Hudson, « Marc Riboud in China », ed. Nathan / Harry N. Abrams…
In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.