Mary Ellen Mark was born in Philadelphia in 1940. She studied Art and Photo Journalism, and became a full member of the Magnum Photos Agency in 1977. Her work was primarily dedicated to people living on the edges of society: she photographed prostitutes in India, handicapped people, homeless people and children forced to live in poverty. Her subtle photographic signature was always evident in her pictures: the dignity of those she was portraying was always at the forefront.
Her socio-critical reportages earned her numerous awards, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, the World Press Photo Award and the Dr. Erich Salomon Prize of the German Photographic Association, for her outstanding photo journalistic work.
Mary Ellen Mark passed away on May 25, 2015, in New York, aged 75.