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'LIFE' Goes On: Photo Magazine Returns

The photographic journal LIFE, whose pages have featured some of the most unforgettable images in history, returned to U.S. newsstands this week. Launched in 1936 as a weekly, the magazine ceased publication in 1972. Between 1978 and 2000, LIFE returned as a monthly, but circulation failed to match its earlier heyday.

LIFE's backers are now hoping to recapture its audience by bringing it back once again, this time as a weekly insert in local newspapers around the country. NPR's John Ydstie speaks with LIFE managing editor Bill Shapiro and former LIFE photographer and photo editor John Loengard, who joined the magazine in 1961.

Renowned for its large, dramatic images, LIFE magazine was a pioneer in photojournalism. From D-Day landings in Europe and V-J celebrations in Times Square to Hollywood starlets and world leaders, the magazine's photographers captured some of the 20th century's most iconic images.

The new incarnation of LIFE will continue to rely heavily on visual elements. "This LIFE, in its heart and its soul and its DNA, is based on the old LIFE, and with good reason," Shapiro says. "We're trying to capture that sense of wonder and curiosity on every page."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.