Robert Pledge was born in London, 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 the boutique agency Contact Press Images, in New York.
He wrote the Introduction to the French edition of Don McCullin’s autobiography Unreasonable Behavior/Risques et perils (Delpire) en 2007.