Life Magazine Lives on With Life Books

LIFE magazine lives on. In name really. The latest release from iconic LIFE comes in the form of a “stunning, oversized hardcover book” called Dream Destinations. The travel book takes readers to 100 of the world’s greatest destinations including the Masai Mara and iconic wonders like Montezuma. It hits bookstores May 1.

“Working on Dream Destinations was a dream assignment,” says LIFE Books editor Robert Sullivan in a press release. “We got to travel to the most wondrous places in the world, right in our offices.”

Life has died four deaths, only to come back.

  • It was first a comic magazine, associated with the late editor and yachtsman George Eggleston.
  • Henry Luce bought that Life, and turned it into a newsweekly in 1936.
  • It died as a weekly in 1972. After dying as weekly, it came back as a monthly. That monthly magazine died in 2000.
  • Then, in October of 2004, it came back as a weekly newspaper supplement, only to be shut down in March 2008.

Life books is separate from Time Life. Time Inc. sold Time-Life, the maker of series books (and those nostalgic music CDs) to Strauss Zelnick’s Ripplewood Holdings/ Direct Holdings Worldwide in January of 2004. Time Life was the global music and video direct marketing subsidiary of Time Inc., and was once known for gorgeous book series, including Lincoln Barnett’s The World We Live In, The Old West and The Ascent of Man.

In its latest incarnation, it was being carried by over 100 newspapers, and competed with Parade and USA Weekend. Dream Destinations publishes on May 1, 2008 and is available wherever books are sold and at for $29.95.

An addendum: Time Inc. has done a decent job of preserving the brand goodwill of Life. Their press release describes the mission.

LIFE Books vigorously carries on the traditions of excellence in photography, in journalism, and in telling the story of our country and our world which began with LIFE magazine in 1936 by founding editor and publisher, Henry R. Luce. LIFE Books publishes six to as many as 10 hard- and soft-cover books each year, as well as new volumes of the New York Times #1 Best Seller LIFE: Picture Puzzle. LIFE Books is charged with forwarding the legacy of the great American magazine, and this is a charge it takes seriously.


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