The Most Powerful Time Covers 

Maggie Coen
Updated June 14, 2019 4.9k votes 720 voters 31.9k views 31 items

List of the most memorable Time Magazine covers, featuring the coolest photographs, sexiest celebrity shots, and most innovative designs ever to hit newsstands. These best Time covers span the entire history of the publication, and provide a good overview of the stories and issues Time has covered over the years. Iconic magazine covers capture images of historic and cultural landmarks that persist in the collective consciousness.

Time Magazine was the first weekly news magazine in the US, first published March 3, 1923. The first cover featured Joseph G. Cannon, the retired Speaker of the House. The first cover with the iconic red border printed in 1927, and it is still used today, more than 85 years later. There have only been 3 since covers that have not been red: a black border after the 9/11 attacks, a green border for Earth Day (April 2008), and a silver border commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Time content features news about politics, economics, science, world events, and culture.

This list includes rare Time covers and hard-to-find classic Time covers as well as the most popular and famous Time Magazine covers. The stars, politicians, athletes, and other famous and influential figures on magazine covers document major world events and news stories that have held public attention over the years. Ever evolving fashion, technology, and societal trends influence the art and design of magazine covers, but Time also has a signature font, layout, and style that has come to represent the magazine as an institution. You won't a more comprehensive collection of Time magazine covers. Vote for the vintage Time magazine covers with the most attractive design, most memorable or important news stories, or that you best remember and recognize. 

Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful Time Covers
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
Time - June 2009

Age: Dec. at 51 (1958-2009)

Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States of America

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More Michael Jackson 

#9 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #2 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time

Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful Time Covers
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
Time - Dec. 29, 2008

Age: 57

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

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More Barack Obama 

#198 of 383 The Greatest American Writers of All Time All of the Times Crazies Have Tried to Kill President Obamalisted on All U.S. Senators from Illinois

Ellen DeGeneres is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful Time Covers
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License
Time - April 14, 1997

Age: 61

Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana, United States of America

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More Ellen DeGeneres 

#30 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #39 of 403 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time Adorable Stories About Ellen DeGeneres And Portia De Rossi

Marilyn Monroe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful Time Covers
Photo: Metaweb/CC-BY
Time - May 14, 1956

Age: Dec. at 36 (1926-1962)

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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More Marilyn Monroe 

#62 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #32 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive What Marilyn Monroe’s Colleagues Said About Working With Her