People was co-founded by Dick Durrell as a spin-off from the "People" page in Time magazine. Its first managing editor, Richard Stolley, characterized the magazine as "getting back to the people who are causing the news and who are caught up in it, or deserve to be in it. Our focus is on people, not issues."
It debuted in 1974, with a March 4 issue featuring actress Mia Farrow, then starring in the movie The Great Gatsby, on the cover. That issue also featured stories on Gloria Vanderbilt, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the wives of U.S. Vietnam veterans who are Missing In Action. The magazine was, apart from its cover, printed in black-and-white
While living in Missoula in early 1974, I would eagerly drive to a local bookstore, for the weekly People Magazine (you could not yet get it at the supermarket check- out aisle.) While I was interested in the celebrity factor at that time, I am a biography junkie, and People's features on the famous, like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (famous, but not glam or star persona) and "ordinary" people (like the military wives mentioned above,) were what drew me back week after week for a number of years.
As the magazine became the celebrity mag it is today, I stopped purchasing it -- finding it both a waste of my time and money.
Well, yesterday I bought my first People Magazine in years. The reason was that the magazine featured a local family (one I personally know,) in an article in the June 16th magazine. I know the family involved said "no" to the opportunity when they were first contacted by the People reporter, but later agreed to the story -- and the reporter did a good job, with only a few errors. I encourage you to read the article online or pick up that week's copy.
The young lady in the People story is featured in my earlier blog post about this year's graduates. It has been over a year since we enjoyed a day of piano playing, baking, and fellowship with another young lady. Here is a picture from that day.
As I flipped through the rest of the magazine, I was amazed at a recurring theme --- pregnancy!!! I'm so thankful so many women are choosing life again, and showing motherhood in a positive way (instead of an inconvenience) for our culture. This was not the norm for the last 20 years, or so - what a refreshing and hopeful change.
UPDATE: Here is a link to a blog post on the People article by Fred, including a picture :)