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1970s Magazines

Reading the printed word was still a popular pastime in the 1970s.

Long before people began reading their news on the internet, they waited anxiously for the next copy of their favorite magazine to appear in their mailbox or on the newsstand.

Some magazines that were popular in the 1970s had been around for ages.

These included favorites such as Time, Newsweek, and Life. These magazines brought the latest in news and human interest stories to the adults of the 1970s.

Unfortunately, however, Life – considered one of the world’s finest photojournalistic mags - ceased regular publication in 1972, releasing only special editions for the next six years and then reinventing itself as a monthly magazine in 1978.

Women’s magazines continued to be big sellers through the 1970s, though the scope of the articles was slowly changing to address the onslaught of women who were now stepping out of the house and into the workplace.

Through magazines, women of the era were learning how to balance work and motherhood, how to deal with difficult personalities at the office, and what recipes could be made quickly and still please the family, who was expecting a good meal on the table by 6 pm.

Favorite 1970s womens magazines included:

  • Ladies Home Journal
  • Family Circle
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Redbook
  • Woman’s Day
  • McCall’s

Liberated women of the 1970s loved reading Cosmopolitan, which broached issues that were otherwise taboo.

First published in the late 1800s, the magazine changed drastically in the mid 1960s when editor Helen Gurley Brown stepped in and made this THE magazine for the independent woman. By the 1970s, the magazine talked openly about sexual issues and offered special features like a nude centerfold of actor Burt Reynolds (1972).

People magazine also debuted in the 1970s, with its inaugural issue released in March 1974. It was a spin-off of Time magazine’s People page and was printed in black and white with a color cover. It gained popularity quite quickly with those who were avid celebrity watches.

Teens of the 1970s loved magazines too, especially those about their favorite celebrities from television and movies. One magazine was simple entitled Teen and was dubbed as “Young America’s Fashion, Beauty, and Entertainment Magazine.” 16 Magazine was also popular, though it had been around since the late 1950s. In the 70s, this magazine often featured covers that sported celebrities like David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, and Jack Wild.

Also popular were Tiger Beat (still published today) and other similar offerings. Seventeen magazine, which first appeared in 1950.