The LIFE Photography Collection: After the first issue of LIFE was released almost exactly 80 years ago, in November of 1936, the magazine quickly established itself as the home of iconic photography. Founder Henry Luce had promised as much in the prospectus for the magazine:
“To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things—machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man’s work—his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and to take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed;
Thus to see, and to be shown, is now the will and new expectancy of half mankind.
To see, and to show, is the mission now undertaken by a new kind of publication…”