LIFE

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“I had no idea the ‘60s would be so iconic,” LIFE photographer Bob Gomel, 88, said recently. “It seemed quite ordinary at the time, but looking back on it now, I realize how fortunate I was.” To learn more about Gomel and his incredible photos, check out: life.com/people/the-cha…
Rest in peace, Charlie Watts. LIFE wrote of the band's incredible sound, "Charlie Watts drove the action, cool and swinging on his simple kit..." (📷DMI, 1993 / LIFE Picture Collection) For more on one of the most iconic bands in the world:life.com/arts-entertain…Ko
“Grimacing with fiendish delight,” LIFE wrote of Princeton chemistry professor Hubert Alyea’s teaching, “he sets off explosions, shoots water pistols and sprays his audience...His fiery performances destroy three suits of clothing a year." life.com/people/hubert-…
Contestants in the Mint 400 motocross endurance race, Mojave Desert, 1971. The winners that year, J.N. Roberts & Max Switzer, finished the 400-mile off-road race in just under 10 hours. (📷Bill Eppridge / LIFE Pict. Coll.) For more motorcycle magic:life.com/arts-entertain…XD
Two women model 1938's trendiest sunglasses: the blinkered look. (📷Alfred Eisenstaedt / LIFE Picture Collection) For more surprising 1930s fashion, check out:life.com/lifestyle/life…pS
Thor the Great Dane rides shotgun, Hollywood, 1961. (📷Ralph Crane / LIFE Picture Collection) For more furry best friends, check out:life.com/animals/celebr…TE
"From sequined sweet-heart gowns to lavish floor-length coats, Aretha Franklin's presence at an event was never overlooked..." In honor of the new film 'Respect,' we're sharing some of our favorite Queen of Soul fashion moments from the archive: life.com/people/the-que…
LIFE wrote in 1960, "when people talk about girls who are likely to be regarded as national treasures one day, the name of this long-legged, astonishingly beautiful girl is sure to come up. She is Julie Newmar..." Happy birthday to this national treasure! life.com/arts-entertain…
In a 1954 profile of Alfred Hitchcock, "Dial Ham for Murder," LIFE called him "the master of the movie suspense thriller and an inveterate ham." (📷G. Mili, '42/LIFE Pict. Coll.) To see a film Hitchcock 'directed' for LIFE, complete with hammy cameo:life.com/people/alfred-…0r
In 1969, LIFE traveled around Manhattan to define the "New York Look." The Look, they found, was "bright, bold, unpredictable—and above all young...a daily celebration of the self." To see the original article and outtakes from the story, check out: life.com/lifestyle/summ…
Meet LIFE staff photographer—and Olympic rower—Co Rentmeester. Born in Amsterdam in 1936, Rentmeester has lived a fascinating life, creating some of the most renowned photographs of the past century. To see the work of this living legend, check out: life.com/people/what-me…
The #Louvre opened to the public on August 10, 1793. LIFE's photographers were frequent visitors, including Dmitri Kessel, who caught this conservator restoring Géricault's Raft of the Medusa in '50. For another LIFE visit to the Louvre, check out: life.com/destinations/l…
Surveyors measure land for the construction of the New Jersey Turnpike, summer 1951. LIFE hailed the opening of the Turnpike in its January 18, 1952 issue with: “Newly Opened Superroad Unravels Chronic Traffic Jam.” life.com/history/new-je… (📷B. Hoffman/LIFE Picture Collection)I
In 1950, LIFE staffer Peter Stackpole photographed genius design couple Charles and Ray Eames at their new home in California (now called #Eames House). To read excerpts of the story and see outtakes from the shoot, check out: life.com/history/charle…
From the 4/20/59 issue: These 'crazy caps' with "turn-around faces are guaranteed to turn heads..." For more on this vintage swim trend, check out: life.com/lifestyle/swim… (📷Ralph Crane/LIFE Picture Collection)E
Comedy legend Lucille Ball was born in this day in 1911. LIFE first profiled her in '42, calling her "generous, funny, extremely sensitive, and a crack poker player..." For more rare #LucilleBall photos from our archive: life.com/people/the-man… (J. Florea, '42/LIFE Pict. Coll.)
According to our October 9, 1970 issue, "Painting a pool can be a daub-it-yourself job." For another swimsuit-related story from the same groovy issue, check out: life.com/lifestyle/swim… (📷Co Rentmeester/LIFE Picture Collection)2
Happy birthday to the 44th US president, Barack Obama! LIFE celebrates his 60th birthday with a special issue on his inspiring life, work, and living legacy. For more photos and info, check out: life.com/history/barack… @BarackObama #Obama60th
From the 9/16/60 issue: "The quintessence of Olympian effort was expressed in the lissome, straining figure of [Wilma Rudolph] as she sprinted explosively across the finish line..." For more of our favorite Olympians from the archive, check out: life.com/arts-entertain…
"The rules for putting together this photo collection were simple: choose one, and only one, classic LIFE photo per state..." To see the results of one writer's quest through our archive, check out: life.com/destinations/t…
Our new partnership with @Shutterstock launches today! You can now find nearly one million photos from the LIFE archive via our exclusive editorial agent—and we'll be adding more every week! For more, check out: shutterstock.com/editorial/coll…
Rest in peace to the great Richard Stolley, who passed away yesterday at 92. An editor at LIFE and founding editor of People Magazine, Stolley famously acquired the the Zapruder film. For more on his influential career: life.com/people/remembe… #rip
Nicknamed 'The Back,' Vikki Dougan first graced the cover of LIFE in '53. The NYT recently tracked down the mysterious beauty, calling her a "a midcentury Emily Ratajkowski or Kim Kardashian..." For more on Dougan: life.com/people/back-in… (📷R. Crane, '57/LIFE Pict. Coll.)e
Today marks the 10th wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Our latest special issue takes an intimate look at the couple and notes that "Ten years on, William and Kate’s story is still just beginning..." life.com/people/william…
Composer Alan Hovhaness works on his piece 'Ad Lyrum' with "his cat Baha by his side," 1956. (📷Gordon Parks/LIFE Picture Collection) For more delightful cats, check out:life.com/animals/deligh…YL
Burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee fixes her makeup. This photo ran in our first issue on November 23, 1936. For more on this legendary "stripteaser," author, and surprisingly avid fisherwoman, check out: life.com/history/stript… (📷Alfred Eisenstaedt/LIFE Picture Collection)6
From 1926 to 1967, the 'Canadian National School on Wheels'—7 trains with live-in teachers—educated children in the rural north. In 1954, LIFE's Cornell Capa visited one of these schools. We've tracked down a former pupil, Fredda Sloman, to hear her story: life.com/history/canada…
Audrey Hepburn poses with her Oscar for 'Roman Holiday' at the Academy Awards, March 25, 1954. "I'm truly grateful—and terribly happy," she said during her acceptance speech. (📷R. Morse/LIFE Pict. Coll.) For more classic photos of the Oscars, check out:life.com/arts-entertain…KW
"Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." —Rachel Carson. For more on this Earth Day, tap the link in bio. life.com/lifestyle/eart… #earthday (📷Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1961 / LIFE Picture Collection)t
A 23-year-old Elvis Presley being vaccinated as part of his Army physical at Kennedy Veterans Hospital in Memphis, Tennesse, 1958. (📷Don Cravens/LIFE Images Collection) For more photos of the King, check out:life.com/arts-entertain…R#Elvissc
From the April 20, 1962 issue, a 3-year-old bonds with a sleepy piglet. (📷Francis Miller/LIFE Picture Collection) For more cute kids and spring animals, check out:life.com/animals/spring…X #pigsoftwitterrd
By 1942, the US Army had leased nearly every resort on Miami Beach—citing the area's terrain and climate as ideal training grounds—to house enlisted soldiers during #WW2. "America’s winter playground...has gone to war,” LIFE reported in its 12/18/42 issue: life.com/history/when-m…
LIFE first "met" Prince Philip in 1947 at his wedding. Initially describing him as a 'carefree sailor,' the magazine chronicled his long career as a royal. On the day of his funeral, we're sharing some rare photographs of #PrincePhilip from our archive... life.com/people/queen-e…
The legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 74 today! In '67, LIFE photographed the 19-year-old UCLA student and star basketball player. When asked about his height (7'2"), he said, "Being tall is another way to be different. It's a good thing to be different." (B. Ray/LIFE Pict. Coll.)
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis during their '3AM Mayhem' set at the Copacabana in New York, 1949. (📷 Ralph Morse / LIFE Picture Collection) For more of our favorite performance photos from the archive, check out:life.com/arts-entertain…UY
Bette Davis was born #onthisday in 1908. Here she is at her first LIFE cover shoot in 1939. When asked about her favorite roles, Davis said, "I like to play gutty girls and attractive wenches." (📷A. Eisenstaedt/LIFE Picture Coll.) For more Bette:life.com/people/bette-d…PV
Happy 77th birthday to the supremely talented Diana Ross! As LIFE wrote in its 1972 profile of the star, " ...Diana Ross has everything..." Here she is at home enjoying a little fashion, backgammon, and her new baby (Tracee Ellis Ross!). #dianaross
Inventor Hugo Gernsback modeling a prototype of his TV Glasses, 1963. For more classic photos of people watching TV in surprising ways, check out: life.com/arts-entertain…
It's springtime in Brooklyn! LIFE photographer Ralph Morse chronicled some of the oldest and tiniest residents greeting the new season in 1949. For more outtakes from this unpublished story, check out: life.com/history/spring…
In 1956, Althea Gibson became the first Black player to win a Grand Slam tournament: the French Open. LIFE photographer Thomas McAvoy chronicled Gibson's win and tour of Europe, rare outtakes of which are shared here... #altheagibson
Dorothy Dandridge rehearsing with jazz musician Phil Moore before a performance at the Cafe de Paris nightclub in London, 1951. (Ed Clark / LIFE Picture Collection) #dorothydandridge
From the February 4, 1966 issue of LIFE: Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier on set of the 'The Strollin' Twenties," a television show developed and produced by Belafonte, hosted by Poitier, and written by Langston Hughes. (📷Henry Groskinsky / LIFE Picture Collection)r
Rest in peace to the iconic Cicely Tyson. Here she is singing 'We Shall Overcome' in the 1969 musical 'Trumpets of the Lord.' LIFE praised the unparalleled "authenticity and authority" of her performance. She will be missed. (📷G. Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection)#cicelytysonn7
A patient cat poses outside a roadside cafe, 1962. LIFE staffer John Loengard photographed this little creature for an (unpublished) story on the American diner. For more photos—and to help us identify where the diner was!—check out: life.com/lifestyle/drop… #diners
In advance of tonight's #CFBPlayoff, we're headed to a big Ohio State football game from 1948: life.com/history/ohio-s… #ohiostate
LIFE photographer Michael Rougier took 3k photos on his 1965 trip to recreate Shackleton's voyage. There were many animals, a number of bearded scientists, and a rather dramatic ending that (slightly) changed the Antarctic map. To learn more: life.com/destinations/a… #antarctica
Meet Debbie Drake, the first woman to host a fitness show on American television. "I want to be the most important exercise girl in the world," she told LIFE in 1962. For more on Debbie, check out: life.com/lifestyle/debb… (📷Alfred Eisenstadt, also in leotard/LIFE Pict. Coll.)W
Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie signs an autograph for a very chic, very tiny fan. (📷Allan Grant, 1948 / LIFE Picture Collection) For more of our favorite Gillespie photos, check out: life.com/arts-entertain…L#jazzz#dizzygillespieeG
The legendary #PierreCardin has passed away at age 98. LIFE covered him throughout the 1960s, praising him as a "fashion revolutionary." Here are a few Cardin favorites from our archive. (📷B. Ray, B. Eppridge, P. Boulat / LIFE Picture Coll.)people.com/style/pierre-c…XV
From our November 17, 1961 issue: Santa Claus School students "practice a soft shoe with faculty member Joy Merkel." To study for your B.S.C. degree (that's a Bachelor in Santa Claus), check out: life.com/lifestyle/chri…
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