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: King published his first novel, Carrie, about a misfit teen with telekinetic powers, but the book almost didn't happen. A 26-year-old janitor at the time, he wrote "three single-spaced pages of a first draft, then crumpled them up in disgust and threw them away," he recalled in his book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. His wife, Tabitha, picked them up out of the trash and a career was born.
2014: The prolific novelist, 66, has written more than 50 books (many of them turned into movies) and sold more than 350 million copies. Among his best sellers: Salem's Lot, Pet Sematary and the Dark Tower series.