PEOPLE Magazine 40th Anniversary

40 Years Later: Headline Makers
Then & Now

Who was making news in 1974, the year PEOPLE published its first issue? From Stephen King to Barbara Walters to Hank Aaron, look back at who filled our pages then – and find out what they're doing today

MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV

1974: After a performance in Toronto, the beloved Russian ballet dancer, 26, defected from his Communist homeland to gain more creative freedom. Known for his precision, grace and airborne maneuvers, he went on to dance with major ballet companies around the world, including the New York City Ballet.
2014: Having spent a decade as the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre, Baryshnikov opened a foundation and arts center in New York City in 2005, which the 66-year-old still heads today. And who could forget Misha's turn as Carrie Bradshaw's artistic Russian lover Aleksandr Petrovsky on Sex and the City?