PEOPLE came out when I was in my late teens. I distinctly remember buying the Very First Issue at Tower City (before it was even called Tower City) and reading it on the rapid transit on my way home from nursing school.
This was the issue--
--and the stories inside included interviews with Patty Hearst's parents, Lee Harvey Oswald's widow, and William Peter Blatty whose novel The Exorcist had recently been made into a film that caused moviegoers to pass out, puke in the aisles, and--allegedly--have themselves voluntarily committed.
Looking back at these covers from the first year alone was like stepping into a time machine for me.
I remember when 12-year-old Ted Kennedy Jr. lost his leg from cancer:
When 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar for Paper Moon:
When Pat Nixon kept her mouth shut about her I-Am-Not-A-Crook hubby:
When Mary Tyler Moore flipped her knit cap into the air every Saturday night at 9 p.m.:
When Paul Newman anticipated his 50th birthday:
When Burt Reynolds hooked up (gasp!) with the much-older Dinah Shore:
When Cicely Tyson was the first black actor to win an Emmy for a "lead role in a miniseries or Movie" (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman):
When Prince Charles, at 25 (TWENTY-FRIGGING-FIVE!) was the World’s Most Eligible Bachelor (and never answered my love letters):
Other 1974 covers announce that Raquel Welch is 33, Dustin Hoffman is 37, and Gloria Steinnem 40. Forty seemed ancient to me then. My parents were in their forties!
And Hugh Hefner, as you can see, probably had no need for Viagra even if it existed back then:
The vast majority of the celebrities who graced that first year's cover, including John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Gerald Ford, Jackie O, Ari Onassis, Johnny Carson, Bing Crosby, Richard Burton, Charles Bronson, Rock Hudson, Telly Savalas, and Jack Lemmon have since passed away. Having subscribed to this
Even if you're not a PEOPLE fan--check it out. :-)
Now, if you'll excuse, kiddies, I've gotta grab my cane and hobble over to the ice box for some prunes...