Jet magazine, the digest-sized magazine that has graced African-American homes, beauty salons and barbershops for more than 60 years, announced this week that it’s ending its print edition in May. Moving ahead with today’s digital age, the magazine will be published weekly online and through its new app. Founded in 1951 by John H. Johnson and Johnson Publishing Co., the magazine has been a staple for African Americans to keep up on topics ranging from politics and civil rights to entertainment and global issues. In this slideshow, we take a look at some our favorite covers from the magazine’s 63-year history.
Marian Anderson, Feb. 7, 1952
Anderson was one of the most celebrated singers of the early 20th century. She was featured on the cover of the magazine three years before she became the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Eartha Kitt, July 31, 1952
Kitt was featured on the cover of Jet shortly after she was cast in the Broadway revue New Faces of 1952.
Ralph Bunche, Nov. 20, 1952
In 1950 Bunche was the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in then-Palestine. Jet honored the diplomat in 1952 atop its list of the world’s most influential blacks.
Diahann Carroll, April 15, 1954
In January 1954, Carroll made her television debut on Chance of a Lifetime. Later that year she appeared in the film Carmen Jones in a small supporting role.
Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, Sept. 30, 1954
Dubbed “Hollywood’s Newest Love Team” by Jet, the duo starred in Carmen Jones in 1954.
Althea Gibson, Aug. 7, 1958
Between 1947 and 1956, Gibson won 10 back-to-back tennis championships. She graced the cover of Jet seven years after becoming the first black tennis player to compete at Wimbledon.
A Raisin in the Sun Cast, March 26, 1959
Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil and Ruby Dee starred in Lorraine Hansberry’s Broadway play, A Raisin in the Sun, in 1959. It is currently on its second Broadway revival, starring Denzel Washington as Walter Lee Younger.
Thurgood Marshall, Aug. 24, 1967
President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court in June 1967. He took his seat on the court in October and served for 24 years.
John F. Kennedy, Dec. 12, 1963
President Kennedy appeared on the cover of Jet shortly after his assassination in Dallas in November 1963.
Malcolm X and Cassius Clay, March 26, 1964
The friendship between these two world icons stirred a bit of controversy during the ’60s.
Emmett Till issue, July 23, 1964
This issue is remembered for its graphic images of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Mississippi boy who was brutally murdered in 1955.
Martin Luther King Jr., April 10, 1969
A year after King was assassinated, Jet wrote a special report on the civil rights icon’s legacy and the future of the movement.
The Jackson 5, Aug. 6, 1970
The Jackson 5 signed with Motown in 1969 and quickly rose to fame, becoming one of the most popular boy groups of all time.
Flip Wilson, Jan. 14, 1971
The Flip Wilson Show first aired on NBC in September 1970, and Jet featured the comedian on its cover in 1971. A year later Time magazine took notice and labeled Wilson “TV’s first black superstar.”
Tina Turner, Sept. 30, 1971
Ike and Tina Turner were at the height of their success in the early ’70s after opening for the Rolling Stones on tour.
Angela Davis, Nov. 18, 1971
The political activist was in the midst of her trial for aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder when Jet ran its special report on her case.
Billy Dee Williams, March 1, 1973
Jet named Williams the movies’ new black sex symbol after he starred in Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany, both opposite Diana Ross.
Esther Rolle and John Amos, May 23, 1974
Jet featured several TV stars on its covers, and this portrait of Florida and James Evans from Good Times was one of many TV-centered covers in the magazine’s history.
Roots, Jan. 27, 1977
Jet released its Roots issue the same week the miniseries aired for eight days on ABC.
The Wiz, Oct. 26, 1978
The Wiz, a 1978 remake of The Wizard of Oz that starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, was released Oct. 24, 1978.
Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor and Dick Gregory, May 31, 1979
These comedians, all known for their laugh-out-loud storytelling and joke-making skills, often used the n-word in their stand-up routines.
Marvin Gaye, April 16, 1984
Jet remembered the life and legacy of the singer, who was killed by his father April 1, 1984.
Bill Cosby and Phylicia Ayers-Allen, Aug. 13, 1984
Our favorite TV mom and dad appeared on the cover of Jet just months before The Cosby Show aired for the first time on NBC.
Spike Lee and Tracy Camilla Johns, Nov. 10, 1986
She’s Gotta Have It was Lee’s first feature-length film, and it starred Johns as a sexually free woman in Brooklyn, N.Y. Showtime is currently in talks to develop the film into a TV series.
Oprah Winfrey, Dec. 19, 1988
Oprah appeared on the cover after losing more than 60 pounds.
Arsenio Hall, Jan. 22, 1990
After Hall’s TV show debuted in 1989, Jet called him the “prince of late-night TV.” Hall hosted the show for five years, and he returned to the late-night chair in 2013.
Clarence Thomas, July 22, 1991
In 1991 President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to the Supreme Court.
Mae Jemison, Sept. 14, 1992
Jemison became the first African-American woman in space Sept. 12, 1992.
Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy, May 10, 1993
Our favorite HBCU couple graduated from A Different World when the show ended its run July 9, 1993.
Michael Jordan, July 12, 1993
Jordan completed his first three-peat championship win in 1993 with the Chicago Bulls before deciding to retire and play baseball. He returned to basketball in 1995 and won championships with the Bulls at the end of that ’95-’96 season, and again in 1997 and 1998.
Nelson Mandela, May 23, 1994
On May 10, 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as the first black president of South Africa.
Serena Williams, Sept. 27, 1999
Williams became the first black woman to win the U.S. Open in 1999.
Tiger Woods, Dec. 4, 2000
Throughout the 2000s, Woods was considered the world’s best golfer. He was also one of the richest black athletes in the world.
J.L. King, May 3, 2004
King is the author of On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of ‘Straight’ Black Men Who Sleep With Men.
Raisin in the Sun 2.0, May 17, 2004
A star-studded cast revived Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play on Broadway, with Sean Combs portraying the lead character, Walter Lee Younger.
Jay Z and Beyoncé, May 31, 2004
It might be a little hard to remember, but 10 years ago this power couple was very shy about their romantic relationship.
John H. Johnson, Aug. 29, 2005
Johnson—the founder of Johnson Publishing Co., which publishes Jet and Ebony magazines—died Aug. 8, 2005.
Richard Pryor, Jan. 9, 2006
Jet remembered the life and legacy of the brilliant comedian, who died Dec. 10, 2005.
Barack Obama, Feb. 5, 2007
Five days after this issue was released, on Feb. 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency in Springfield, Ill.
Michael Jackson, July 20, 2009
Jet commemorated the life and legacy of the pop icon, who died June 25, 2009.
Whitney Houston, March 5, 2012
Jet remembered the life and legacy of the pop star and actress, who died Feb. 11, 2012.