5 Famous National Geographic Covers
Since 1888, National Geographic has introduced millions of readers to remarkable stories, scenes and discoveries from around the world. The magazine’s cover images have been an iconic element of that storytelling since September 1959, when a picture of a U.S. Navy fighter jet became the first cover photograph to appear. Since then, the cover images — captured by gifted and innovative photographers — have brought readers to every continent, to the ocean depths and into space as part of the magazine’s acclaimed storytelling.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC THE COVERS: Iconic Photographs, Unforgettable Stories by Mark Collins Jenkins, is an illustrated history of National Geographic’s memorable, beloved and groundbreaking covers and cover stories. The book brings together hundreds of images that have transformed our understanding of the planet — and beyond — and combines these visuals with backstories (many previously unrevealed) and insights. Organized by decade, these visual touchstones chart our evolving understanding of the world, the unfolding of international political events, the amazing discoveries that have rewritten history and the enduring and sometimes endangered beauty of our planet.
Cover by NGS
National Geographic Magazine, volume I, number 1, features the Society’s first seal, a map of the United States.
Photo by Steve McCurry/National Geographic
Haunting eyes and a tattered garment tell the plight of a girl who fled her native Afghanistan for a refugee camp in Pakistan.
Photo by Neil Armstrong
Buzz Aldrin stands on the lunar surface.
Photo by Koko
A newly minted National Geographic photographer makes her own self-portrait.
Photo by Michael Nichols/National Geographic
Part of a portrait made up of 84 shots, taken as cameras rode a rope rigged by canopy ecologist Jim C. Spickler.