Brief history of ‘TIME’

365 Tours
3 min readNov 20, 2020


A little about the history & features of the TIME magazine

TIME magazine, created by Britton Haden and Henry Luce (former students at Yale University) published its first issue on March 3rd 1923. The cover featured politician Joseph G Cannon, who served as the speaker of the House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911. In addition to its US edition, TIME publishes versions of its magazines in Europe-out of London, Asia- out of Hong Kong and Oceania-out of Sydney.

Nearly every issue of TIME since 1923 has had a red border around the the cover picture which is the stylistic trademark of the magazine. There are only a couple of notable exceptions- The special edition published immediately after the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001 had a black border and the April 2008 ‘Earth Day’ issue had a green border.

TIME is the first weekly news magazine published in USA. Issues hit the newsstands every Friday. Occasionally TIME will publish special edition issues outside of the normal issue. A couple of examples include an issue published following the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001, as well as special commemorative issue published on the death of Michael Jackson in June 2009.

TIME is also known for its ‘TIME 100’. It started in 1999 when it compiled the list of the 100 Most important people of the 20th century. Since then, it has been a year by year list. Oprah Winfrey appeared on the list most times- 7 times. Then close runner up is Hillary Clinton- 5 times.

In 2005, TIME compiled a list of ‘100 Movies of All Time’. Well, actually 106 movies, as some Trilogies & Sequels are counted as one entry. Most of the films that you expect to be on the best-ever list are there, though one exception stood out: James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ did not make the list.

Again in 2005 TIME created a list of ‘100 Best Novels of All Time’. The novels selected for the list were published from 1923 to 2005, when the list was compiled. J K Rowling’s young wizard ‘Harry Potter’, perhaps surprisingly did not make the list.

Whittaker Chambers the former editor used to be a member of the Communist Party, as well as a Soviet Spy. In 1938 Chambers broke all ties and went into hiding for a while. He later joined the magazine as a book & film critic in 1939 and eventually promoted to Senior Editor in 1945.

A special version of TIME designed for younger audience can be found in school classrooms and libraries in USA- ‘Time for Kids’. Written by kids for kids. It is published weekly, rarely exceeding more than 8 pages in length, it features news stories, pop culture articles and ‘A Cartoon of the Week’.

The first recipient of the Man/ Person of the year was Charles Lindbergh. TIME began the nomination in 1927 and Charles Lindberg was the youngest to receive this distinction. He was just 25 years old. He captured the imagination of the public by flying across the Atlantic on a non stop flight in the “Sprit of St. Louis”

Other Honourable mentions for TIME Man/Person of the year:

1999: Albert Einstein- named Person of the Century

1930: M K Gandhi- the first Asian

1935: Haile Selassie, monarch of Ethiopia- the first African

1936: Wallis Simpson- the first woman

1932, 1934 & 1941: Franklin D Roosevelt- the only person to be honored 3 times.

1982: ‘Computer’ was given the title ‘Machine of the Year’

Two popes have been given the title: Pope John XXIII in 1962 & Pope John Paul II in 1994.

General and Madame Chiang Kai Shek were the first man & wife selected, as they provided the best hope at the time to stern the spread of Communism in Asia



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