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


1974: Following stints as a writer and on-air correspondent on the Today show, Walters, 44, was named cohost of the morning program, the first woman to attain that post. "When [then-cohost] Frank McGee died," Walters told PEOPLE in 1992, "they began to look for someone, and we said, 'Oh, by the way, it's in Barbara's contract that she become a cohost if Frank ever left the show.' They said, 'What! What!' They never expected it."
2014: After more than 50 years on TV, the pioneer retired from television journalism in May 2014 when she left The View, which she'd helmed since 1997. As for her future plans, Walters, 84, joked, "I may be available for supermarket openings and charity auctions."