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NOV 05

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ASME's Magazine 40/40 Competition topped by Rolling Stone, Esquire and The New Yorker

A judging panel of 52 magazine editors, design directors, art directors and photography editors chose the 40 top magazine covers from 1965 to 2005 from a pool of 444 images representing 136 magazines. The contest was open to all consumer magazines published in the United State during the time period. The winners were announced on October 17 at the American Magazine Conference (AMC) 2005 at the Wyndham El Conquistador in Puerto Rico.

Rolling Stone's January 22, 1981 cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono was named the top magazine cover, while Vanity Fair's cover featuring a naked, pregnant Demi Moore (August 1991), ranked # 2. Esquire's April 1968 cover depicting Muhammad Ali with six arrows in his body came in at #3. Three Esquire covers were ranked among the top 10 covers of the past four decades, while The New Yorker had two covers among the top 10.

Saul Steinberg's March 29, 1976 The New Yorker cover illustration, View of the World from 9th Avenue, the stylized view of Manhattan's myopic perception of the rest of the country, was ranked the # 4 cover. Esquire's other top covers included Andy Warhol in a Campbell's tomato soup can (May 1969; # 5), the Vietnam-era "Oh my God we hit a little girl" cover (October 1966; # 8), and a photo of a laughing president Bill Clinton (December 2000; # 19).

The New Yorker's haunting black-on-black depiction of the World Trade Center (September 24, 2001; # 6) received the most votes of the nine 9/11 covers that were submitted for judging. Two other magazines were cited for their 9/11 covers: TIME (September 14, 2001; #25) and Fortune (October 1, 2001; #29).

Rounding out the top 10 were National Lampoon's hilarious "If you don't buy this magazine we'll shoot this dog" cover from its January 1973 issue (# 7), the September 1992 cover of Harper's Bazaar, featuring Linda Evangelista in the "Era of Elegance" (September 1992; # 9), and the National Geographic cover with the striking image of an Afghan girl refugee (June 1985; # 10).

Of the top multiple winners, Esquire, Time and Life magazines each had four covers in the top 40 submissions.

"The breadth and quality of the 444 submissions we received was striking, and showed the creativity and innovation of our industry," said ASME Executive Director, Marlene Kahan. "Clearly, the top-ranked covers were resonant and iconic, striking a deep chord with our judges. In total, these covers provide an evocative snapshot of our nation and its preoccupations throughout the past four decades."


1. Rolling Stone Jan. 22, 1981 John Lennon and Yoko Ono

2. Vanity Fair Aug. 1991 Nude pregnant Demi Moore

3. Esquire April 1968 Muhammad Ali with arrows in his body

4. The New Yorker March 29, 1976 Drawing of New York from Hudson River and rest of the country to Pacific Ocean

5. Esquire May 1969 Andy Warhol drowning in Campbell's soup can

6. The New Yorker Sept. 24, 2001 9/11 Twin towers drawing in all black against a gray skyline

7. National Lampoon January 1973 "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll kill this dog"

8. Esquire October 1966 "Oh my God we hit a little girl." - Vietnam

9. Harper's Bazaar Sept. 1992 Linda Evangelista, "Enter the Era of Elegance"

10. National Geographic June 1985 Afghan girl

11. Life April 30, 1965 Fetus in womb drawing

12. Time April 8, 1966 "Is God Dead?"

13. Life 1969 Man on the moon

14. The New Yorker December 10, 2001 "New Yorkistan" map

15. Harper's Bazaar April 1965 Model's face peering through pink cutout

16. The Economist Sept. 10-16, 1994 Two camels portraying the trouble with mergers

17. Time June 21, 1968 Lichtenstein drawing: "The gun in America"

18. ESPN June 29, 1998 Michael Jordan airborne against all-white background

19. Esquire December 2000 Bill Clinton

20. Blue October 1997 Man diving

21. Life November 26, 1965 Vietcong prisoner

22. George Oct/Nov 1995 Cindy Crawford dressed as George Washington

23. The Nation November 13, 2000 George Bush: What me, worry?

24. Interview December 1972 Andy Warhol photographing model for the Christmas issue

25. Time September 14, 2001 9/11: Photo of twin towers terrorist bombing

26. People March 4, 1974 Mia Farrow biting a strand of pearls

27. Entertainment Weekly May 2, 2003 Nude Dixie Chicks

28. Life April 16, 1965 Vietcong zero in on vulnerable U.S. copters

29. (tie) Playboy October 1971 African American woman (Darine Stern) posing on Playboy bunny chair

29. (tie) Fortune Oct. 1, 2001 Man covered in ashes after 9/11 terrorist attacks

31. Newsweek November 20, 2000 Photo half George Bush, half Al Gore

32. Vogue May 2004 Nicole Kidman's back profile

33. (tie) Newsweek July 30, 1973 The Nixon Tapes

33. (tie) Wired June 1997 Apple symbol covered in barbed wire

35. New York June 8, 1970 "Free Leonard Bernstein"

36. People September 15, 1997 Black and white Princess Diana photo

37. Details February 1989 Cyndi Lauper photo

37. (tie) Fast Company Aug/Sept 1997 "The brand called You"

37. (tie) Glamour August 1968 "Best Dressed College Girls"

37. (tie) National Geographic October 1978 Gorilla taking photograph

37. (tie) Time April 14, 1997 Ellen DeGeneres: "Yep, I'm Gay"

Top 40 magazine covers of the past 40 years (cover pics)

Top 40 magazine covers of the past 40 years (press release)

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