LIFE Magazine’s issues in the 1980s paint a picture of a country on the verge of a breakthrough. Socially conscious stories about abortion, AIDS, illegal drug abuse and endangered species show a growing American interest in society and responsibility. The decade’s beauties, like Raquel Welch, Madonna, and Caroline Kennedy, still graced several covers, but an overwhelming number of LIFE Magazine cover stories were about world issues like cancer or the aftermath of the Chernobyl meltdown.
LIFE, as usual, captured amazing images of world-changing events, including the development and implantation of the first artificial heart, the Challenger disaster, and a terrifying hostage crisis in the Middle East. Even the Star Wars Droids earned a front-page spot! In every story, no matter the subject, LIFE Magazine’s dedication to exceptional photojournalism means they captured important moments with incredible clarity and style.
Stories about Bruce Springsteen, Micheal Jackson, and the stars of the now-famous Live Aid concert told LIFE Magazine readers about popular music in the 1980s. Actors and actresses like Meryl Streep and Harrison Ford also made the cover, but the real star of the decade was Princess Diana of Wales. Her fairy-tale wedding to Prince Charles, the births of her sons, and stories about her humanitarian efforts earned top billing throughout the 1980s.
Science, technology, Hollywood, politics - LIFE Magazine’s successful formula continued to satisfy readers throughout the 1980s, and the events covered in those issues also laid the foundation for events today. Many of the young up-and-comers in politics and entertainment are now seasoned and respected veterans. We now know that some events covered by LIFE Magazine in the 1980s, like the Soviet war in Afghanistan, would be incredibly influential in today’s political climate. LIFE Magazines from the 1980s provide an important look “back to the future” of life in America and the world.
Jun 1, 1980$16.95
Jul 1, 1982$16.95
Jul 1, 1986$16.95
May 1, 1988$24.95