The National Geographic magazine’s cover images have been an iconic element of that storytelling since September 1959, when a picture of a U.S. Navy fighter jet became the first cover photograph to appear. Since then, the cover images — captured by gifted and innovative photographers — have brought readers to every continent, to the ocean depths and into space as part of the magazine’s acclaimed storytelling.
Famous National Geographic Magazine Covers:
Cover by NGS
National Geographic Magazine, volume I, number 1, features the Society’s first seal, a map of the United States.
Photo by Steve McCurry/National Geographic
Haunting eyes and a tattered garment tell the plight of a girl who fled her native Afghanistan for a refugee camp in Pakistan.
Photo by Neil Armstrong
Buzz Aldrin stands on the lunar surface.
Photo by Koko
A newly minted National Geographic photographer makes her own self-portrait.
Photo by Michael Nichols/National Geographic
Part of a portrait made up of 84 shots, taken as cameras rode a rope rigged by canopy ecologist Jim C. Spickler.