Life (magazine)

Life was an American magazine published weekly until 1972, as an intermittent "special" until 1978, and as a monthly from 1978 to 2000. During its golden age from 1936 to 1972, Life was a wide-ranging weekly general interest magazine known for the quality of its photography.

Originally, Life was a humor magazine with limited circulation. Founded in 1883, it was developed as being in a similar vein to the British magazine, Punch. This form of the magazine lasted until November 1936. Henry Luce, the owner of Time, bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name, and launched a major weekly news magazine with a strong emphasis on photojournalism. Luce purchased the rights to the name from the publishers of the first Life but sold its subscription list and features to another magazine; there was no editorial continuity between the two publications.

Life was published for 53 years as a general-interest light entertainment magazine, heavy on illustrations, jokes and social commentary. It featured some of the greatest writers, editors, illustrators and cartoonists of its time, including Charles Dana Gibson, Norman Rockwell and Jacob Hartman Jr. Gibson became the editor and owner of the magazine after John Ames Mitchell died in 1918. During its later years, the magazine offered brief capsule reviews (similar to those in The New Yorker) of plays and movies currently running in New York City, but with the innovative touch of a colored typographic bullet resembling a traffic light, appended to each review: green for a positive review, red for a negative one, and amber for mixed notices.

Life was the first all-photographic American news magazine, and it dominated the market for several decades. The magazine sold more than 13.5 million copies a week at one point. Possibly the best known photograph published in the magazine was Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph of a nurse in a sailor's arms, taken on August 14, 1945, as they celebrated Victory over Japan Day in New York City. The magazine's role in the history of photojournalism is considered its most important contribution to publishing. Life's profile was such that the memoirs of President Harry S. Truman, Sir Winston Churchill, and General Douglas MacArthur were all serialized in its pages.

After 2000, Time Inc. continued to use the Life brand for special and commemorative issues. Life returned to regularly scheduled issues when it became a weekly newspaper supplement from 2004 to 2007.[1] The website, originally one of the channels on Time Inc.'s Pathfinder service, was for a time in the late 2000s managed as a joint venture with Getty Images under the name See Your World, LLC,.[2] On January 30, 2012, the URL became a photo channel on[1][3]

LIFE magazine logo
Logo of Life
Coles Phillips2 Life
Cover art for Life, 27 January 1910 issue, illustration by Coles Phillips


Humor and general interest magazine

Life 1911 09 21 a
A cover of the earlier Life magazine from 1911
EditorGeorge Cary Eggleston
Former editorsRobert E. Sherwood
CategoriesHumor, general interest
PublisherClair Maxwell
Total circulation
First issueJanuary 4, 1883
Final issueNovember 1936
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York, U.S.

Life was founded January 4, 1883, in a New York City artist's studio at 1155 Broadway, as a partnership between John Ames Mitchell and Andrew Miller. Mitchell held a 75% interest in the magazine with the remaining 25% held by Miller. Both men retained their holdings until their deaths.[4] Miller served as secretary-treasurer of the magazine and was very successful managing the business side of the operation. Mitchell, a 37-year-old illustrator who used a $10,000 inheritance to invest in the weekly magazine, served as its publisher. Mitchell created the first Life name-plate with cupids as mascots; he later drew its masthead of a knight leveling his lance at the posterior of a fleeing devil. Mitchell took advantage of a revolutionary new printing process using zinc-coated plates, which improved the reproduction of his illustrations and artwork. This edge helped because Life faced stiff competition from the best-selling humor magazines Judge and Puck, which were already established and successful. Edward Sandford Martin was brought on as Life's first literary editor; the recent Harvard University graduate was a founder of the Harvard Lampoon.

The motto of the first issue of Life was: "While there's Life, there's hope."[5] The new magazine set forth its principles and policies to its readers:

"We wish to have some fun in this paper.... We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world.... We shall have something to say about religion, about politics, fashion, society, literature, the stage, the stock exchange, and the police station, and we will speak out what is in our mind as fairly, as truthfully, and as decently as we know how."[5]

The magazine was a success and soon attracted the industry's leading contributors.[6] Among the most important was Charles Dana Gibson. Three years after the magazine was founded, the Massachusetts native first sold Life a drawing for $4: a dog outside his kennel howling at the moon. Encouraged by a publisher who was also an artist, Gibson was joined in Life early days by such well-known illustrators as Palmer Cox (creator of the Brownie), A. B. Frost, Oliver Herford and E. W. Kemble. Life attracted an impressive literary roster too: John Kendrick Bangs, James Whitcomb Riley and Brander Matthews all wrote for the magazine around the start of the 20th century.

Mitchell was accused of anti-Semitism at a time of high rates of immigration to New York of eastern European Jews. When the magazine blamed the theatrical team of Klaw & Erlanger for Chicago's grisly Iroquois Theater Fire in 1903, a national uproar ensued. Life's drama critic, James Stetson Metcalfe, was barred from the 47 Manhattan theatres controlled by the Theatrical Syndicate. Life published caricatured cartoons of Jews with enormous noses.

Life became a place that discovered new talent; this was particularly true among illustrators. In 1908 Robert Ripley published his first cartoon in Life, 20 years before his Believe It or Not! fame. Norman Rockwell's first cover for Life magazine, Tain't You. was published May 10, 1917. Rockwell's paintings were featured on Life's cover 28 times between 1917 and 1924. Rea Irvin, the first art director of The New Yorker and creator of the character "Eustace Tilley", got his start drawing covers for Life.

Charles Dana Gibson dreamed up the magazine's most celebrated figure in its early decades. His creation, the Gibson Girl, was a tall, regal beauty. After appearances in Life in the 1890s, the image of the elegant Gibson Girl became the nation's feminine ideal. The Gibson Girl was a publishing sensation and earned a place in fashion history.

This version of Life took sides in politics and international affairs, and published fiery pro-American editorials. Mitchell and Gibson were incensed when Germany attacked Belgium; in 1914 they undertook a campaign to push the United States into the war. Mitchell's seven years studying at Paris art schools made him partial to the French; there was no unbiased coverage of the war. Gibson drew the Kaiser as a bloody madman, insulting Uncle Sam, sneering at crippled soldiers, and shooting Red Cross nurses. Mitchell lived just long enough to see Life's crusade result in the 1917 U.S. declaration of war.

Following Mitchell's death in 1918, Gibson bought the magazine for $1 million, but the world had changed. It was not the Gay Nineties, when family-style humor prevailed and the chaste Gibson Girls wore floor-length dresses. World War I had spurred changing tastes among the magazine-reading public. Life's brand of fun, clean and cultivated humor began to pale before the new variety: crude, sexy and cynical. Life struggled to compete on newsstands with such risqué rivals. A little more than three years after purchasing Life, Gibson quit and turned the decaying property over to publisher Clair Maxwell and treasurer Henry Richter. Gibson retired to Maine to paint and lost active interest in the magazine, which he left deeply in the red.

1922 cover, "The Flapper" by F. X. Leyendecker

In 1920, Gibson selected former Vanity Fair staffer Robert E. Sherwood as editor. A World War I veteran and member of the Algonquin Round Table, Sherwood tried to inject sophisticated humor onto the pages. Life published Ivy League jokes, cartoons, flapper sayings and all-burlesque issues. Beginning in 1920, Life undertook a crusade against Prohibition. It also tapped the humorous writings of Frank Sullivan, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Franklin Pierce Adams and Corey Ford. Among the illustrators and cartoonists were Ralph Barton, Percy Crosby, Don Herold, Ellison Hoover, H. T. Webster, Art Young and John Held, Jr.

Life had 250,000 readers in 1920, but as the Jazz Age rolled into the Great Depression, the magazine lost money and subscribers. By the time Maxwell and editor George Eggleston took over, Life had switched from publishing weekly to monthly. The two men went to work revamping its editorial style to meet the times, and in the process it did win new readers. Despite all-star talents on staff, Life had passed its prime and was sliding toward financial ruin. The New Yorker, debuting in February 1925, copied many of the features and styles of Life; it recruited staff from its editorial and art departments. Another blow to Life's circulation came from raunchy humor periodicals such as Ballyhoo and Hooey, which ran what can be termed "outhouse" gags. In 1933, Esquire joined Life's competitors. Life struggled to make a profit in the 1930s when Henry Luce purchased it, Luce kept the name for his new plans and sold the contents and subscription list to Judge.[7]

Announcing the death of Life, Maxwell declared: "We cannot claim, like Mr. Gene Tunney, that we resigned our championship undefeated in our prime. But at least we hope to retire gracefully from a world still friendly."

For Life's final issue in its original format, 80-year-old Edward Sandford Martin was recalled from editorial retirement to compose its obituary. He wrote:

"That Life should be passing into the hands of new owners and directors is of the liveliest interest to the sole survivor of the little group that saw it born in January 1883.... As for me, I wish it all good fortune; grace, mercy and peace and usefulness to a distracted world that does not know which way to turn nor what will happen to it next. A wonderful time for a new voice to make a noise that needs to be heard!"[5]

Weekly news magazine

LIFE 06191944 Eisenhower cover
Cover of the June 19, 1944, issue of Life with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. The issue contained 10 frames by Robert Capa of the Normandy invasion.
Editor-in-chiefEdward Kramer Thompson
FrequencyWeekly (1936–1972)
Monthly (1978–2000)
PublisherHenry Luce
Total circulation
First issueNovember 23, 1936
Final issueMay 2000
CompanyTime Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York, U.S.

In 1936, publisher Henry Luce paid $92,000 to the owners of Life magazine because he sought the name for his company, Time Inc. Time Inc. sold Life's subscription list, features, and goodwill to Judge. Convinced that pictures could tell a story instead of just illustrating text, Luce launched Life on November 23, 1936. The third magazine published by Luce, after Time in 1923 and Fortune in 1930, Life developed as the definitive photo magazine in the U.S., giving as much space and importance to images as to words. The first issue of Life, which sold for ten cents (worth $1.81 in 2018), featured five pages of Alfred Eisenstaedt's photographs.

In planning the weekly news magazine, Luce circulated a confidential prospectus[8], within Time Inc. in 1936, which described his vision for the new Life magazine, and what he viewed as its unique purpose. Life magazine was to be the first publication, with a focus on photographs, that enabled the American public,

To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things — machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man’s work — his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed...[9]

Luce's first issue cover depicted the Fort Peck Dam in Montana, a Works Progress Administration project, photographed by Margaret Bourke-White.[10]

Herald Square Hotel jeh
19 West 31st Street

The format of Life in 1936 was an instant classic: the text was condensed into captions for 50 pages of photographs. The magazine was printed on heavily coated paper and cost readers only a dime. The magazine's circulation skyrocketed beyond the company's predictions, going from 380,000 copies of the first issue to more than one million a week four months later.[11] The magazine's success stimulated many imitators, such as Look, which was founded a year later in 1937 and ran until 1971.

Luce moved Life into its own building at 19 West 31st Street, a Beaux-Arts architecture jewel built in 1894. It is considered a building of "outstanding significance" by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Later Life moved its editorial offices to 9 Rockefeller Plaza.


Luce selected Edward Kramer Thompson, a stringer for Time, as assistant picture editor in 1937. From 1949 to 1961 he was the managing editor, and served as editor-in-chief for nearly a decade, until his retirement in 1970. His influence was significant during the magazine's heyday, which was roughly from 1936 until the mid-1960s. Thompson was known for the free rein he gave his editors, particularly a "trio of formidable and colorful women: Sally Kirkland, fashion editor; Mary Letherbee, movie editor; and Mary Hamman, modern living editor."[12]

In August 1942, writing about labor and racial unrest in Detroit, Life warned that "the morale situation is perhaps the worst in the U.S. ... It is time for the rest of the country to sit up and take notice. For Detroit can either blow up Hitler or it can blow up the U.S."[13] Mayor Edward Jeffries was outraged: "I'll match Detroit's patriotism against any other city's in the country. The whole story in LIFE is scurrilous ... I'd just call it a yellow magazine and let it go at that."[14] The article was considered so dangerous to the war effort that it was censored from copies of the magazine sold outside North America.[15]

When the U.S. entered the war in 1941, so did Life. By 1944, of the 40 Time and Life war correspondents, seven were women: Americans Mary Welsh Hemingway, Margaret Bourke-White, Lael Tucker, Peggy Durdin, Shelley Smith Mydans, Annalee Jacoby, and Jacqueline Saix, an Englishwoman. (Saix's name is often omitted from the list, but she and Welsh are the only women listed as part of the magazine's team in a Times's publisher's letter, dated May 8, 1944.)[16]

Life was pro-American and backed the war effort each week. In July 1942, Life launched its first art contest for soldiers and drew more than 1,500 entries, submitted by all ranks. Judges sorted out the best and awarded $1,000 in prizes. Life picked 16 for reproduction in the magazine. The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. agreed to put 117 entries on exhibition that summer. Life, in its patriotism, also supported the military's efforts to use artists to document the war. When Congress forbade the armed forces from using government money to fund artists in the field, Life privatized the programs, hiring many of the artists being let go by the Department of Defense (DOD). On December 7, 1960, Life managers later donated many of the works by such artists to the Department of Defense and its art programs, such as the United States Army Art Program.[17]

Tito Life Magazine
Cover of the September 13, 1948, issue of Life with Marshal Josip Broz Tito

The magazine hired Robert Capa, the distinguished war photographer. A veteran of Collier's magazine, Capa accompanied the first wave of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. A mishap at the Life photography darkroom ruined dozens of Capa's photos which he had taken during the beach landing. The magazine wrote in the captions that the photos were fuzzy because Capa's hands were shaking. He denied it, and later poked fun at Life by titling his war memoir Slightly Out of Focus (1947). In 1954, Capa was killed after stepping on a landmine, while working for the magazine covering the First Indochina War. Life photographer Bob Landry also went in with the first wave at D-Day, "but all of Landry's film was lost, and his shoes to boot."[18]

Each week during World War II, the magazine brought the war home to Americans; it had photographers in all theaters of war, from the Pacific to Europe. The magazine was imitated in enemy propaganda using contrasting images of Life and Death.[19]

In a notable mistake, in its final edition just before the 1948 U.S. presidential election the magazine printed a large photo showing U.S. presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey and his staff riding across San Francisco, California harbor entitled "Our Next President Rides by Ferryboat over San Francisco Bay". Incumbent President Harry S. Truman won the election.[20]

On May 10, 1950, the council of ministers in Cairo banned Life from Egypt forever. All issues on sale were confiscated. No reason was given, but Egyptian officials expressed indignation over the April 10, 1950, story about King Farouk of Egypt, entitled the "Problem King of Egypt". The government considered it insulting to the country.[21]

Life in the 1950s earned a measure of respect by commissioning work from top authors. After Life's publication in 1952 of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, the magazine contracted with the author for a 4,000-word piece on bullfighting. Hemingway sent the editors a 10,000-word article, following his last visit to Spain in 1959 to cover a series of contests between two top matadors. The article was republished in 1985 as the novella, The Dangerous Summer.[22]

In February 1953, just a few weeks after leaving office, President Harry S. Truman announced that Life magazine would handle all rights to his memoirs. Truman said it was his belief that by 1954 he would be able to speak more fully on subjects pertaining to the role his administration played in world affairs. Truman observed that Life editors had presented other memoirs with great dignity; he added that Life also made the best offer.

For his 1955 Museum of Modern Art travelling exhibition The Family of Man, which was to be seen by 9 million visitors worldwide, curator Edward Steichen relied heavily on photographs from Life; 111 of the 503 pictures shown, constituting more than 20% as counted by Abigail Solomon-Godeau.[23] His assistant Wayne Miller entered the magazine's archive in late 1953 and spent an estimated nine months there. He searched through 3.5 million images, most in the form of original negatives (only in the last years of the war did the picture department start to print contact sheets of all assignments) and submitted to Steichen for selection many that had not been published in the magazine.[24]

In November 1954, the actress Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American woman to be featured on the cover of the magazine.

In 1957, R. Gordon Wasson, a vice president at J. P. Morgan, published an article in Life extolling the virtues of magic mushrooms.[25] This prompted Albert Hofmann to isolate psilocybin in 1958 for distribution by Sandoz alongside LSD in the U.S., further raising interest in LSD in the mass media.[26] Following Wasson's report, Timothy Leary visited Mexico to try out the mushrooms, which were used in traditional religious rituals.

Life's motto became[27] "To see Life; to see the world." In the post-war years, it published some of the most memorable images of events in the United States and the world. It also produced many popular science serials, such as The World We Live In and The Epic of Man in the early 1950s. The magazine continued to showcase the work of notable illustrators, such as Alton S. Tobey, whose many contributions included the cover for a 1958 series of articles on the history of the Russian Revolution.

However, as the 1950s drew to a close and TV became more popular, the magazine was losing readers. In May 1959 it announced plans to reduce its regular news-stand price to 20 cents a copy from 25 cents. With the increase in television sales and viewership, interest in news magazines was waning. Life had to try to create a new form.

1960s and the end of an era

Henri Huet, LIFE cover, 110266
Henri Huet's photograph of Thomas Cole featured on the cover of Life, February 11, 1966

In the 1960s, the magazine was filled with color photos of movie stars, President John F. Kennedy and his family, the war in Vietnam, and the Apollo program. Typical of the magazine's editorial focus was a long 1964 feature on actress Elizabeth Taylor and her relationship with actor Richard Burton. Journalist Richard Meryman traveled with Taylor to New York City, California, and Paris. Life ran a 6,000-word first-person article on the screen star.

"I'm not a 'sex queen' or a 'sex symbol,' " Taylor said. "I don't think I want to be one. Sex symbol kind of suggests bathrooms in hotels or something. I do know I'm a movie star and I like being a woman, and I think sex is absolutely gorgeous. But as far as a sex goddess, I don't worry myself that way... Richard is a very sexy man. He's got that sort of jungle essence that one can sense... When we look at each other, it's like our eyes have fingers and they grab ahold.... I think I ended up being the scarlet woman because of my rather puritanical upbringing and beliefs. I couldn't just have a romance. It had to be a marriage."[28]

In the 1960s, the magazine's photographs featured those by Gordon Parks. "The camera is my weapon against the things I dislike about the universe and how I show the beautiful things about the universe," Parks recalled in 2000. "I didn't care about Life magazine. I cared about the people," he said.[29]

On March 25, 1966, Life featured the drug LSD as its cover story; it had attracted attention among the counter culture and was not yet criminalized.[30]

In March 1967, Life won the 1967 National Magazine Award, chosen by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The prestigious award was made for the magazine's publication of stunning photos from the war in Southeast Asia, such as Henri Huet's riveting series of a wounded medic that were published in January 1966. Increasingly, the photos that Life published of the war in Vietnam were searing images of death and loss.

Despite the industry's accolades and publishing America's mission to the moon in 1969, the magazine continued to lose circulation. Time Inc. announced in January 1971 its decision to reduce circulation from 8.5 million to 7 million in an effort to offset shrinking advertising revenues. Exactly one year later, Life cut its circulation from 7 million to 5.5 million beginning with the January 14, 1972, issue. Life was reportedly not losing money, but its costs were rising faster than its profits. Life lost credibility with many readers when it supported author Clifford Irving, whose fraudulent autobiography of Howard Hughes was revealed as a hoax in January 1972. The magazine had purchased serialization rights to Irving's manuscript.

Industry figures showed that some 96% of Life circulation went to mail subscribers, with only 4% coming from the more profitable newsstand sales. Gary Valk was publisher when the magazine laid off hundreds of staff. The weekly Life magazine published its last issue on December 29, 1972.

From 1972 to 1978, Time Inc. published ten Life Special Reports on such themes as "The Spirit of Israel", "Remarkable American Women" and "The Year in Pictures". With a minimum of promotion, those issues sold between 500,000 and 1 million copies at cover prices of up to $2.

As a monthly (1978–2000)

Starting with the October 1978 issue, Life was published as a monthly, with a new, modified logo. Although still the familiar red rectangle with the white type, the new version was larger, and the lettering was closer together and the box surrounding it was smaller.

Life continued for the next 22 years as a moderately successful general-interest, news features magazine. In 1986, it decided to mark its 50th anniversary under the Time Inc. umbrella with a special issue showing every Life cover starting from 1936, which included the issues published during the six-year hiatus in the 1970s. The circulation in this era hovered around the 1.5 million-circulation mark. The cover price in 1986 was $2.50 (equivalent to $5.71 in 2018). The publisher at the time was Charles Whittingham; the editor was Philip Kunhardt. In 1991 Life sent correspondents to the first Gulf War and published special issues of coverage. Four issues of this weekly, Life in Time of War, were published during the first Gulf War.

The magazine struggled financially and, in February 1993, Life announced the magazine would be printed on smaller pages starting with its July issue. This issue also featured the return of the original Life logo.

Life slashed advertising prices 34% in a bid to make the monthly publication more appealing to advertisers. The magazine reduced its circulation guarantee for advertisers by 12% in July 1993 to 1.5 million copies from the current 1.7 million. The publishers in this era were Nora McAniff and Edward McCarrick; Daniel Okrent was the editor. LIFE for the first time was the same trim size as its longtime Time Inc. sister publication, Fortune.

The magazine was back in the national consciousness upon the death in August 1995 of Alfred Eisenstaedt, the Life photographer whose photographs constitute some of the most enduring images of the 20th century. Eisenstaedt's photographs of the famous and infamous—Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, the Kennedys, Sophia Loren—won him worldwide renown and 86 Life covers.

In 1999, the magazine was suffering financially, but still made news by compiling lists to round out the 20th century. Life editors ranked its "Most Important Events of the Millennium." This list has been criticized for being overly focused on Western achievements. The Chinese, for example, had invented type four centuries before Johannes Gutenberg, but with thousands of ideograms, found its use impractical. Life also published a list of the "100 Most Important People of the Millennium." This list, too, was criticized for focusing on the West. Thomas Edison's number one ranking was challenged since critics believed other inventions, such as the Internal combustion engine, the automobile, and electricity-making machines, for example, had greater effects on society than Edison's. The top 100 list was criticized for mixing world-famous names, such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, and Leonardo da Vinci, with numerous Americans largely unknown outside of the United States (18 Americans compared to 13 Italian and French, and 11 English).

In March 2000, Time Inc. announced it would cease regular publication of Life with the May issue, seven months before the century's end.

"It's a sad day for us here," Don Logan, chairman and chief executive of Time Inc., told "It was still in the black," he said, noting that LIFE was increasingly spending more to maintain its monthly circulation level of approximately 1.5 million. "Life was a general interest magazine and since its reincarnation, it had always struggled to find its identity, to find its position in the marketplace," Logan said.[31]

The magazine's last issue featured a human interest story. In 1936, its first issue under Henry Luce featured a baby named George Story, with the headline "Life Begins"; over the years the magazine had published updates about the course of Story's life as he married, had children, and pursued a career as a journalist. After Time announced its pending closure in March, George Story happened to die of heart failure on April 4, 2000. The last issue of LIFE was titled "A Life Ends", featuring his story and how it had intertwined with the magazine over the years. [32]

For Life subscribers, remaining subscriptions were honored with other Time Inc. magazines, such as Time. In January 2001, these subscribers received a special, Life-sized format of "The Year in Pictures" edition of Time magazine. It was a Life issue disguised under a Time logo on the front. (Newsstand copies of this edition were published under the Life imprint.)

While citing poor advertising sales and a rough climate for selling magazine subscriptions, Time Inc. executives said a key reason for closing the title in 2000 was to divert resources to the company's other magazine launches that year, such as Real Simple. Later that year, its parent company, Time Warner, struck a deal with the Tribune Company for Times Mirror magazines, which included Golf, Ski, Skiing, Field & Stream, and Yachting. AOL and Time Warner announced a $184 billion merger, the largest corporate merger in history, which was finalized in January 2001.[33]

In 2001, Time Warner began publishing special newsstand "megazine" issues of Life, on topics such as the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the Holy Land. These issues, which were printed on thicker paper, were more like softcover books than magazines.

Supplement (2004–2007)

Beginning in October 2004, Life was revived for a second time. It resumed weekly publication as a free supplement to U.S. newspapers, competing for the first time with the two industry heavyweights, Parade and USA Weekend. At its launch, it was distributed with more than 60 newspapers with a combined circulation of approximately 12 million. Among the newspapers to carry Life were the Washington Post, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Time Inc. made deals with several major newspaper publishers to carry the Life supplement, including Knight Ridder and the McClatchy Company. The launch of LIFE as a weekly newspaper supplement was conceived by Andrew Blau, who served as the President of Life. Bill Shapiro was the Founding Editor of the weekly supplement.

This version of Life retained its trademark logo but sported a new cover motto, "America's Weekend Magazine." It measured 9½ x 11½ inches and was printed on glossy paper in full-color. On September 15, 2006, Life was 19 pages of editorial content. The editorial content contained one full-page photo, of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and one three-page, seven-photo essay, of Kaiju Big Battel. On March 24, 2007, Time Inc. announced that it would fold the magazine as of April 20, 2007, although it would keep the web site.[1][3]

Special issues

Life appears in special issues on notable occasions, such as Bob Dylan on the occasion of his winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 2016, and Paul at 75, in 2017.

Partnership with Google

On November 18, 2008, Google began hosting an archive of the magazine's photographs, as part of a joint effort with Life.[34] Many images in this archive had never been published in the magazine.[35] The archive of over 6 million photographs from Life is also available through Google Cultural Institute, allowing for users to create collections, and is accessible through Google image search. The full archive of the issues of the main run (1936–1972) is available through Google Book Search.[36]

Online presence

Life's online presence began in the 1990s[37] as part of the network. The standalone site was launched March 31, 2009 and closed January 30, 2012. was developed by Andrew Blau and Bill Shapiro, the same team who launched the weekly newspaper supplement. While the archive of Life, known as the LIFE Picture Collection, was substantial, they searched for a partner who could provide significant contemporary photography. They approached Getty Images, the world's largest licensor of photography. The site, a joint venture between Getty Images and Life magazine, offered millions of photographs from their combined collections.[38] On the 50th anniversary of the night Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday" to John Kennedy, presented Bill Ray's iconic portrait of the actress, along with other rare photos.

The film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), starring Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, portrays Life as it transitioned from printed material toward having only an online presence.[39] is now a redirect to a small photo channel on also maintains Tumblr[40] and Twitter[41] accounts and a presence on Instagram.


Notable contributors since 1936 have included:

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Time Inc. to Close LIFE Magazine Newspaper Supplement" (Press release). Time Warner. March 26, 2007.
  2. ^ Keith J. Kelly (23 September 2008). "Time Inc. And Getty Images Team Up To Renew Life Title". The Huffington Post. New York Post. Archived from the original on 2008-09-25. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b "End comes again for 'Life,' but all its photos going on the Web". USA Today. New York. 2007-03-26.
  4. ^ "Full text of "The miscellaneous reports: cases decided in the inferior courts of record of the state of New York"". Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  5. ^ a b c "Life: Dead & Alive". TIME. October 19, 1936.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Frank Luther Mott. A History of American magazines, 1865-1885 (1938) p 556.
  8. ^ Life: A Prospectus for a New Magazine
  9. ^ LIFE in 2012: The Year in 12 Galleries. Retrieved September 24, 2015
  10. ^ French, Alex. "The Very First Issues of 19 Famous Magazines". Mental Floss. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Pictorial to Sleep", Time, March 8, 1937.
  12. ^ Dora Jane Hamblin, That Was the 'Life', New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1977, p. 161.
  13. ^ "Detroit is Dynamite". Life. August 17, 1942. p. 15. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal, August 17, 1942.
  15. ^ "Letters to the Editor". Life. September 7, 1942. p. 12. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  16. ^ Prentice, P.I. (8 May 1944). "A Letter From The Publisher". Time. p. 11.
  17. ^ Marian R. McNoughten. "The Army Art Program" (PDF). A Guide to the Stude and Use of Military Histor.
  18. ^ The Great LIFE Photographers, Thames and Hudson, paperback ed. 2009, ISBN 978-0-500-28836-8, p. 294
  19. ^ "Life and Death propaganda". Psywar. March 30, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  20. ^ Abels, Jules, Out of the Jaws of Victory, New York: Henry Holt and Company (1959), p. 261.
  21. ^ "Life magazine is banned in Egypt after publishing an unflattering article about King Farouk". South African History Online. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  22. ^ Michael Palin, "Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure", PBS, 1999.
  23. ^ Solomon-Godeau, Abigail; Parsons, Sarah (Sarah Caitlin), 1971-, (editor.); ProQuest (Firm) (2017), Photography after photography : gender, genre, and history, Duke University Press, ISBN 978-0-8223-7362-9CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Sandeen, Eric J (1995), Picturing an exhibition : the family of man and 1950s America (1st ed.), University of New Mexico Press, p. 40-41, ISBN 978-0-8263-1558-8
  25. ^ Joaquim Tarinas. "ROBERT GORDON WASSON Seeking the Magic Mushroom". Imaginaria. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
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  35. ^ "Google gives online life to Life mag's photos". Associated Press. 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2008-11-19. Google Inc. has opened an online photo gallery that will include millions of images from Life magazine's archives that have never been seen by the public before.
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Further reading

  • Bissonette, Devan L. "Between Silence and Self-Interest: Time, Life, and the Unsilent Generation's Coming-of-Age." Journalism History 35.2 (2009): 62.
  • Centanni, Rebecca. "Advertising in Life Magazine and the Encouragement of Suburban Ideals." Advertising & Society Review 12.3 (2011).
  • Doss, Erika, ed. Looking at LIFE Magazine (2001) essays by experts
  • Grady, John. "Advertising images as social indicators: depictions of blacks in LIFE magazine, 1936–2000." Visual studies 22.3 (2007): 211-239. online
  • Keller, Emily. Margaret Bourke-White: A Photographer's Life (Twenty-First Century Books, 1996).
  • Lester, Paul, and Ron Smith. "African-American Photo Coverage in Life, Newsweek and Time, 1937–1988." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 67.1 (1990): 128-136. online
  • Moore, Gerald. Life Story: The Education of an American Journalist (2016). excerpt autobiography of Gerald Moore
  • Vials, Chris. "The Popular Front in the American Century: Life Magazine, Margaret Bourke-White, and Consumer Realism, 1936–1941." American Periodicals: A Journal of History & Criticism 16.1 (2006): 74-102.
  • Wainwright, Loudon. The great American magazine: an inside history of Life (Random House Inc, 1986).
  • Webb, Sheila M. "Creating Life" Journalism & Communication Monographs (2016), 18#2 pp 55–108. evolution of photojournalism, centered on the magazine
  • Webb, Sheila (2012). "The Consumer-Citizen: "Life" Magazine's Construction of a Middle-Class Lifestyle Through Consumption Scenarios". Studies in Popular Culture. 34 (2): 23–47. JSTOR 23416397.
  • Webb, Sheila. "Art Commentary for the Middlebrow: Promoting Modernism & Modern Art through Popular Culture—How Life Magazine Brought 'The New' into Middle-Class Homes." American Journalism 27.3 (2010): 115-150.
  • Webb, Sheila. "A Pictorial Myth in the Pages of" Life": Small-Town America as the Ideal Place." Studies in Popular Culture 28.3 (2006): 35-58.

External links

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 23, 1995) was a German-born American photographer and photojournalist. He began his career in Germany prior to World War II but achieved prominence as a staff photographer for Life Magazine after moving to the U.S. Life featured more than 90 of his pictures on its covers, and more than 2,500 of his photo stories were published.Among his most famous cover photographs was V-J Day in Times Square, taken during the V-J Day celebration in New York City, showing American sailor George Mendonsa kissing nurse Greta Zimmer Friedman in a "dancelike dip" which "summed up the euphoria many Americans felt as the war came to a close", in the words of his obituary. He was "renowned for his ability to capture memorable images of important people in the news" and for his candid photographs taken with a small 35mm Leica camera, typically with natural lighting.

Boys' Life

Boys' Life is the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Its target readers are between the ages of 6 and 18. The magazine headquarters are in Irving, Texas.Boys' Life is published in two demographic editions. Both editions often have the same cover, but are tuned to the target audience through the inclusion of 16–20 pages of unique content per edition.

The first edition is suitable for the youngest members of Cub Scouting, the 6-to-10-year-old Cub Scouts and first-year Webelos Scouts. The second edition is appropriate for 11-to-18-year-old boys, which includes second-year Webelos through 18-year-old Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers. If the subscription is obtained through registration in the Boy Scouts of America program, the publisher selects the appropriate edition based on the boy's age.

In June 2007, Boys' Life garnered four Distinguished Achievement Awards conferred by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), including Periodical of the Year.The magazine's mascot is Pedro the Mailburro, who answers readers' letters and is the subject of a comic strip.

British Airways

British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier and the second largest airline in the United Kingdom based on fleet size and passengers carried, behind easyJet. The airline is based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. In January 2011 BA merged with Iberia, creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), a holding company registered in Madrid, Spain. IAG is the world's third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the FTSE 100 Index.

BA was created in 1974 after a British Airways Board was established by the British government to manage the two nationalised airline corporations, British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways, and two regional airlines, Cambrian Airways from Cardiff, and Northeast Airlines from Newcastle upon Tyne. On 31 March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. After almost 13 years as a state company, BA was privatised in February 1987 as part of a wider privatisation plan by the Conservative government. The carrier expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1987, Dan-Air in 1992, and British Midland International in 2012. Its preeminence highlights the reach of the country's influence as many of its destinations in several regions were historically part of the British Empire.

It is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and the now defunct Canadian Airlines. The alliance has since grown to become the third largest, after SkyTeam and Star Alliance.

Country Life (magazine)

Country Life is a British weekly perfect-bound, glossy magazine, based in London at 110 Southwark Street (until March 2016 when it became based in Farnborough, Hampshire), and owned by TI Media.

Flag of Lincolnshire

The official flag of Lincolnshire was unveiled at five separate ceremonies across the county on 24 October 2005. The flag was chosen in a popular vote organised by BBC Radio Lincolnshire along with Lincolnshire Life magazine. The winning entry, designed by Lincolnshire-born Michelle Andrews, a web producer at BBC Lincolnshire, was selected from a shortlist of six designs and attracted thousands of votes.

Free Methodist Church

The Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and is Wesleyan-Arminian in theology.The Free Methodist Church has 77,000 members in the United States and 1,055,000 members worldwide in 82 nations. The Light & Life Magazine is their official publication. The Free Methodist Church World Ministries Center is in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jewish Currents

Jewish Currents is a progressive, secular Jewish quarterly magazine that carries on the insurgent tradition of the Jewish left through independent journalism, political commentary, and a "countercultural" approach to Jewish arts and literature.

List of Monk episodes

The following is a complete episode list for the criminal dramedy television series Monk. It premiered on the USA Network on July 12, 2002 in the United States and ended with a two-part series finale on November 27 and December 4, 2009. The complete series has a total of 125 episodes, including three 2-part episodes and four Christmas specials.

List of Sex and the City episodes

The following is a list of episodes from the American television series Sex and the City.

List of Six Feet Under episodes

Six Feet Under, an American television drama series created by Alan Ball, premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended its original run of five seasons and 63 episodes on August 21, 2005. The series chronicles the Fishers, a family of funeral directors who struggle with relationships and their own personal demons, while trying to maintain a small funeral home. All five seasons are available on DVD in individual box sets and in a collected volume.

List of The Sopranos episodes

The Sopranos, a television drama series created by David Chase, premiered on the premium television channel HBO in the United States on January 10, 1999, and ended on June 10, 2007. The series consists of a total of 86 episodes over six seasons. Each episode is approximately 50 minutes long. The first five seasons each consist of thirteen episodes, and the sixth season twenty-one.

HBO broadcast the sixth season in two parts. The first twelve episodes ran from March to June 2006, and the remaining nine episodes ran from April to June 2007. HBO also released the two parts of the sixth season as separate DVD box sets. This effectively turns the second part into a short seventh season, though the show's producers and HBO don't describe it as such. All six seasons are available on DVD in Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4.Unlike most broadcast and cable networks that put their television programs on a four-month hiatus between seasons, The Sopranos took longer hiatuses between seasons. Season four, for example, premiered sixteen months after the third season finale, and the sixth season returned almost two years after the end of season five.The Sopranos stars James Gandolfini as the Italian-American New Jersey-based contemporary mobster Tony Soprano. Edie Falco plays his wife Carmela Soprano, and Lorraine Bracco as his psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi. The continuing story arc of The Sopranos is of how Tony Soprano deals with the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads.

List of The Wire episodes

The Wire, a television drama series created by David Simon, premiered on June 2, 2002 on HBO in the United States and ended on March 9, 2008. 60 episodes aired over the show's five seasons, plus three additional prequel shorts. Each episode has a running time of 55–60 minutes.

The Wire is set in Baltimore, Maryland; each season of the series expands its focus on a different part of the city. The show features a large ensemble cast; many characters are only featured prominently in a single season. A group of characters, mainly in the Baltimore Police Department, appear in every season.

The show is available on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4.

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White (; June 14, 1904 – August 27, 1971) was an American photographer and documentary photographer. She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry under the Soviet's five-year plan, the first American female war photojournalist, and having one of her photographs (the construction of Fort Peck Dam) on the cover of the first issue of Life magazine. She died of Parkinson's disease about eighteen years after developing symptoms.

Media Life

Media Life Magazine was an online publication that was started in May 1999 by Gene Ely. The publication covered all aspects of the media. The magazine ceased publication in late March 2017.


Pajamas (US) or pyjamas (UK) (), often shortened to PJs or jammies, can refer to several related types of clothing originating from the Indian subcontinent. In the Western world, pajamas are loose-fitting garments derived from the original garment and worn chiefly for sleeping, but sometimes also for lounging, also by both sexes. More generally, pajamas may refer to several garments, for both daywear and nightwear, derived from traditional pajamas and involving variations of style and material.

The word pyjama was borrowed c. 1800 from the Hindustani pāy-jāma (پاجامہ‎ पाजामा), itself borrowed from Persian pāy-jāmeh پايجامه‎ lit. 'leg-garment'. The original pyjāmā are loose, lightweight trousers fitted with drawstring waistbands worn by many Indian Muslims, as well as many Sikhs and Hindus, and later adopted by Europeans during British East India Company rule in India.

Six Feet Under (TV series)

Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended on August 21, 2005, spanning five seasons and 63 episodes. It depicts the lives of the Fisher family, who run a funeral home in Los Angeles, along with their friends and lovers.

The ensemble drama stars Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick, and Rachel Griffiths as the central characters. It was produced by Actual Size Films and The Greenblatt/Janollari Studio, and was shot on location in Los Angeles and in Hollywood studios.

Six Feet Under received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing and acting, and consistently drew high ratings for the HBO network. It is considered one of the greatest TV series of all time, included on TIME magazine's "All-TIME 100 TV Shows", as well as Empire magazine's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list. The show's finale has also been described as one of the greatest television series finales. The series won numerous awards, including nine Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Peabody Award.

That's Life (magazine)

That's Life! is a British reality magazine aimed toward a young female demographic and specialises in gritty real-life stories contributed by its readers. The magazine is published in the UK and Ireland by H Bauer Publishing, the British arm of the German Bauer Media Group whose other titles include Take a Break and Bella. The headquarters of That's Life is in London.

The Sopranos (season 5)

The fifth season of The Sopranos aired on HBO from March 7 to June 6, 2004. The fifth season was released on DVD in region 1 on June 7, 2005.The story of season five focuses on the return of two prominent members of the DiMeo family, Tony Blundetto and Feech La Manna, who are released from lengthy stays in prison and struggle to reintegrate themselves back within the family and the life of crime. Several prominent members of the Lupertazzi family also return from prison, and the subsequent power vacuum caused by the death of Boss Carmine creates a growing rift between the New York and New Jersey crime families. Tony and Carmela adjust to their new lives and each other following their separation, which greatly affects their son, A.J. Uncle Junior's mental health continues to deteriorate, and Adriana's guilt over her role as an FBI informant grows.

Toronto Life

Toronto Life is a monthly magazine about entertainment, politics and life in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Toronto Life also publishes a number of annual special interest guides about the city, including Real Estate, Stylebook, Eating & Drinking, City Home and Neighbourhoods. Established in 1966, it has been owned by St. Joseph Media since 2002. Toronto Life has a circulation of 87,929 and readership of 890,000. The magazine is a major winner of the Canadian National Magazine Awards, leading current publications with 110 gold awards including 3 awards for Magazine of the Year in 1985, 1989, and 2007. It is also known for publishing an annual 50 most influential people in Toronto list.

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