Sebastião Salgado was born on February 8th, 1944 in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Lives and works in Paris. Graduated in Economy, starts his photographer career in Paris in 1973. Works at Sygma, Gamma and Magnum agencies successively until 1994 when, along with Lélia Wanick Salgado, co-founds the photograph press agency, Amazonas Images, exclusively dedicated to his work.
Travels to over 100 countries for photographic projects that, having been published in many press media, were also presented as books, such as: Outras Américas (Other Americas) (1986), Sahel,l’Homme en détresse (1986), Trabalhadores (Workers) (1993), Terra (Earth) (1997), Êxodos e Retratos de Crianças do Êxodo (Exodus and Exodus children portraits) (2000), Africa (2007), and Genesis (2013).
Together, Sebastião and Lélia have been working since the 90’s at the restoration of the environment in a part of the Atlantic forest. They gave back to nature the share of land they own, and in 1998, this land became a Natural Heritage Private Reserve. At the same year, they created the Earth Institute whose aim is to restore the forest, research and monitoring, environmental education and sustainable development.
Lélia and Sebastian were awarded the e. Institute Award and, UNESCO Brazil and Rio de Janeiro City Town hall, and also the “Environmentalist Personality” award, WWF-Brazil in 2012 in recognition of their work developed at the Earth Institute. Sebastião Salgado was awarded countless times for his photographic works. His is a Good Will Ambassador for UNICEF, honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Science in the United States. Received the commendation “Ordem do Rio Branco no Brazil” (Rio Branco’s Order in Brazil) and is “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”, for the Culture and Communication Ministry of France. On April 13th, 2016 he was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France, taking over the place once held by the photographer Lucien Clergue.