Alexander Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. His father was in the timber business and his mother was involved in the Russian theater. In 1921 the Libermans left the Soviet Union, and Alexander studied first in London and then in Paris. He took courses in philosophy and mathematics at the Sorbonne and architecture at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the 1930s Liberman designed stage sets, worked briefly with a landscape architect. and worked on the staff of "Vu," the first magazine illustrated with photographs. Consequently, he became friends with Cartier Bresson, Brassai and Kertesz. Liberman began his publishing career as an assistant in the art department, moved on to become art director, then managing director. He even used a nom de plume to write their film reviews.