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In 1990, then-journalism grad student Therese Frare captured David Kirby, his body wasted by AIDS, surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image, published by LIFE magazine that November, became the photograph most identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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LIFE magazine's debut issue hit newsstands in November 1936. To mark the 75-year anniversary, Ben Cosgrove of LIFE.com looks back at some of the covers that helped cement the publication's reputation as the top photography magazine of the 20th century.
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LIFE magazine's George Skadding photographed J. Edgar Hoover in the FBI’s Washington headquarters in 1944, but he didn’t stop there. He also shot behind-the-scenes photos, and his historic images captured the everyday work habits of bureau agents and staff.