Robert Pledge was born in London, UK, in 1942. His family moved to Paris, France, in 1951. A student of West African languages and anthropology and a jazz practitioner, he found his way into journalism and photography as a specialist of African affairs. In 1976, with a small group of highly talented photographers of various nationalities, he co-founded in New York Contact Press Images, the renowned boutique agency.
He has curated major photographic exhibitions throughout the world and sat on prestigious international juries. He has edited highly-acclaimed books including Red-Color News Soldier with Chinese photographer Li Zhensheng (Phaidon); 44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World with American photographer David Burnett (Focal Point); Don McCullin: The impossible Peace with the famed British war photographer (Skira); Quelque part en France (Somewhere in France) with never-before published photographs by the late picture-editor John G. Morris taken in 1944 in Normandy, shortly after D-Day (Marabout-Hachette); and released in 2018, Mean Street - The Lost Dream of Route 66(Damiani) with Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Edward Keating.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of ‘The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund’ and the President of the Board of Trustees of the ‘Dotation Catherine Leroy’.
Photograph © Stephen Dupont (Contact Press Images)