The idea, it turned out, had already been discussed: to pool all PEOPLE'S resources and turn out, for the right person, at the right time, a showcase of memories, a collector's issue. "Hepburn is an international personality—famous, admired, well-liked. When we saw the spectacular pictures of her piled up on the layout table," says managing editor Landon Y. Jones, "we knew—this is the one."
Assistant managing editor Susan Toepfer, senior editor Charles Leerhsen, deputy art director Hillie Pitzer and associate picture editor Maddy Miller combed through thousands of photos of Hepburn to create a worthy tribute. "She was so beautiful," says associate publisher Jeremy Koch, "you can't not want to look through the issue, to see that ethereal quality."
Turning out a special edition in nine days is a less gossamer concept, as a crew of 45 working around the clock discovered. "I was amazed at the number of people who volunteered to work on this," says Toepfer, who oversaw the issue, "coming in over the weekend, putting in ungodly hours" and—as they surveyed the Hollywood career, remembered the romances and debated the essence of Hepburn—falling in love with her all over again.
PEOPLE will donate the first $100,000 from newsstand sales of this special issue to UNICEF in recognition of Hepburn's work with that agency. Readers who would also like to contribute may send their donations to the Audrey Hepburn Memorial Fund, U.S. Committee for UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016. Phone: 1-800-FOR-KIDS.