Olivier Rebbot was born in Paris, France in 1949. He began his career in photography as a regular contributor to the renowned art magazine L'Oeil. After relocating to New York in 1971, he covered major international events including the Cambodian boatlift in 1978, the Iranian revolution in 1979, and the beginnings of the war in Afghanistan the same year. In January 1981, while on assignment for Newsweek in El Salvador, he was gravely wounded during a battle between government troops and guerrilla snipers, and died in Miami, Florida a few weeks later. The prestigious award of the Overseas Press Club of America for "Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad" is named after him.