Born in Czechoslovakia in 1938. He began a career as an aeronautical engineer before devoting himself to photography fulltime in the late 1960s. In 1968, he photographed the Soviet invasion of Prague, which earned him the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 1969. Koudelka left his country in 1970 becoming stateless, and soon after joined the Magnum agency. His first book Gypsies was published by Robert Delpire with Aperture in 1975. Delpire organized several exhibitions of Koudelka’s work beginning with his own gallery on the rue de l’Abbaye and subsequently published several more books including Exiles and Chaos. The photographer’s work has been crowned with numerous prizes, such as the Nadar Prize (1978) for Gitans : La fin du voyage (finally published in French by Delpire in 1977), the National Grand Prize for Photography (1989), the Cartier-Bresson Grand Prize (1991), Hasselblad (1992), and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award. His work has been exhibited around the world. In 2012, Koudelka was promoted to the rank of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.