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LIFE magazine began in 1937 as an American weekly news magazine dedicated to current news and popular culture.  From November 1936 to December 1972 an issue was published once a week.  It was then a semiannual until 1978 when it became a monthly magazine. It ceased publication as a magazine in 2000.  During that time it has covered most every issue of ostensible value or importance to the American cultural scene with few notable exceptions

The following three pages portray the covers of seventy four issues from 1938 through 1987.  Many of the covers themselves have become cultural icons, not only who or what was portrayed, but the very photograph itself.  This collection was made by one individual over 30 years, and represents what the collector views as many of the best of LIFE magazine covers.  Several important international players are not yet, for various reasons, a part of this collection and several important characters or events
(Gandhi, for instance) never made it to the cover of LIFE.
And, of course, the vast majority of those who graced the cover didn't survive
the rigors of history and today we sometimes can't even remember who they were.

The images of the covers shown here are stock photos; the actual covers may possess labels, scuffs and other marks of age and use.  From the collector's perspective, such imperfections are time-honoring, and should be a part of the artifact. This collection consists only of covers, not the remainder of the magazine.  The red and white logo, which has remained essentially the same throughout its life, is considered to be the most famous and readily recognized logo in the world.

For further information about the collection, or individual covers, please contact

Imagi Gallery


Carl Sandburg
21 February, 1938


Emperor Hirohito
10 June, 1940

Josef Stalin

29 March, 1943


Charles DeGaulle
13 November 1944

Winston Churchill
21 May 1945


Ingrid Bergman
02 December 1946

Harry S. Truman
10 December 1951


Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae
31 March, 1952

Dwight D. Eisenhower
16 June 1952


Adlai Stevenson
04 August 1952

Mamie Eisenhower
13 October 1952


John and Jacqueline Kennedy
20 July 1953

Greta Garbo
10 January 1955


Spencer Tracey
31 January 1955

Grace Kelly
11 April 1955


Harry S. Truman
Gen. Douglas MacArthur

13 February, 1956

Dwight D. Eisenhower
12 March 1956


Nikita Krushchev
02 December 1957

Shirley Temple
03 February, 1958


Charles DeGaulle
02 June 1958

The Crosby Sons
15 September 1958


Jack Paar
09 March 1959

Marilyn Monroe
20 April 1959


The Dalai Lama
04 May 1959

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