Most Controversial Magazine Covers

In this article, we have put together a great collection of magazine covers, which have stirred up controversies through few decades. Some of them controversies have worked and sold more magazines. This also worked for the editors in winning various awards.


Time Magazine

This cover depicts the situation during the Hitler time. In this picture, victims dangle on a St. Catherine wheel. This magazine cower was published in 1930s. It was the time when, Hitler had firmly seized power in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.


Life Magazine

The November 1965 cover of Life’s magazine depicts the condition of Vietnam War prisoners. It was the photograph of a Vietcong prisoner with his eyes and mouth taped shut captured the turbulent war.


Life Magazine, Vietnam War

The another cover of Life magazine, earlier in 1965 featured a photo of Vietnam helicopter crew chief James C. Farley with his hand on a machine gun, which is jammed. While, injured pilot Lieutenant James E. Magel was lying beside them in this picture.


Time magazine, God is dead

This cover of Time magazine has been called as the most controversial of all the time as it was related with the article “god is dead”.


Esquire, the Passion of Ali

This magazine cover was related Mohammad Ali, it was created to exemplify his martyrdom to his cause after he refused to join the US army force due to his religious beliefs. This was published on April 1968 as “The Passion of Ali”.


Playboy, First Playboy Afro-American Woman

This was the photo of model Darine Stern by Richard Fegley. In this picture, Stern is sitting on a playboy bunny chair. She became the first Afro-American model who graces the cover of Playboy in the year October 1971 and this became controversial.


Rolling Stone, Yoko Ono and John Lennon

This shot was just some hours before John Lennon was killed outside of his apartment in the Dakota, The New York City. According to the photographer, he wanted to take the short of Lennon alone but he insisted that his wife be in the pictures.


Vanity Fair, Demi Moore

Annie Leibovitz shot this cover, which was decried as shameful and disgusting when it was released. It has spawned countless celebrity nude pregnancy shots and Demi Moore was on the cover photo. However, this was published in the August 1991 and sent back by some of the stores or only sold with a brown paper covering the ‘offensive’ image.


Above we have the list of the most controversial magazine covers of the last few decades. However, this controversy helps the models to start their curriers and various awards.

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