Meet April Atkins, Once The World's Strongest 7th-Grader

You might think that a huge amount of information about a 12-year-old girl once celebrated as the "world's strongest seventh-grader" would surely exist online. That's the sort of thing ARPANET was built for, wasn't it? That, and allowing mainframe computers all over the world to talk to one another. But really, those DoD … » 4/10/14 12:10pm 4/10/14 12:10pm

Where Are The Tight Satin Men's Basketball Shorts Of Yesteryear, Damn…

So much has changed since the Long Island University Blackbirds were a force to be reckoned with in men's college hoops. But surely the gear — specifically, the oh-so-short shorts, the BDSM-ready knee pads, the grimy sneakers and such — worn by the lads is way up there among the many features of the sport that have… » 3/21/14 3:51pm 3/21/14 3:51pm

For Some Stupid Reason, Everyone Was Shocked When Clay Beat Liston

Fifty years ago tomorrow, in Miami Beach, 22-year-old Cassius Clay beat the hell out of Sonny Liston and took the world heavyweight crown from the Big Bear. According to the great New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte, "only three of 46 sportswriters covering the fight had picked Clay to win." And who can blame… » 2/24/14 7:59pm 2/24/14 7:59pm

Tony Kubek Once Brought A Camera To Spring Training, Then Mantle Farted

In the 1960s, the likelihood of taking at least one photograph of Mickey Mantle ripping — or pretending to rip — a fart during spring training was, evidently, quite high. Perhaps LIFE magazine's editors weren't aware of this, because in February 1961 they handed 25-year-old shortstop Tony Kubek a professional-grade… » 2/18/14 3:34pm 2/18/14 3:34pm

Unpublished Super Bowl I Photos Suggest Smoking Bad, Winning Good

Here's the Chiefs' Len Dawson sucking hard on a cancer stick at halftime of the 1967 AFL-NFL World Championship Game, a.k.a, Super Bowl I. It's a compelling picture, if only because it depicts a Hall of Fame quarterback looking sort of badass for reasons that have nothing to do with his on-field skills. » 1/29/14 9:20am 1/29/14 9:20am

This Old Chinese Figure Skater Has Smooth Moves, Awesome Facial Hair

In February 1946 readers of a popular weekly magazine were introduced to exactly the sort of scene Henry Luce likely had in mind when, a decade earlier, he and poet Archibald MacLeish crafted their famous prospectus for a publication initially called "The Show-Book of the World." The still-stirring opening lines of their … » 1/08/14 9:08am 1/08/14 9:08am

75 Years Ago NFL Players Looked Like This

"Pro football is almost a different game from college football," LIFE magazine helpfully informed its readers in October 1938. In those years, the biggest pro sports in America were baseball, boxing and horse racing; professional football barely registered on most fans' radar. But pro ball was making strides, and LIFE… » 12/17/13 10:08am 12/17/13 10:08am

A Face Only A Hockey Puck Could Love

Once upon a time, NHL goalies played without masks. Unsurprisingly, their faces often got all fucked up. In 1966, LIFE published an article, "The Goalie Is the Goat," that not only aimed to put a human countenance on "hockey's reviled and bludgeoned fall-guys," but featured a photo of what looked like a modern-day… » 12/11/13 9:15am 12/11/13 9:15am

The Badassest Rookie Linebacker The NFL Has Ever Seen

I was never a Bears fan, although I do admire the uniform — orange, black and white together just feels football-y, somehow — and I bawled like a crazy person while reading I Am Third and again while watching Brian's Song. (Damn you, James Caan. Damn you to tearjerking hell.) But recently I came across an old LIFE… » 12/04/13 9:17am 12/04/13 9:17am

The Kennedys And Their Goddamn Football, Fer Chrissake

Everyone's talking about JFK these days, and why not? He and his messed-up brothers from that twisted, doomed family certainly had style, even if the lads were — by and large — narcissists congenitally addicted to strange. Style. It's a slippery thing. Here, for example, is a picture of Jack tossing a football to his… » 11/15/13 2:11pm 11/15/13 2:11pm

This Guy Yells At Girls All Day, But It's Cool

In September 1965, LIFE magazine profiled a man named Bill Horan, a World War II vet who spent his days yelling at young women. That's not all he did, though. He also instilled the sort of character traits one might expect from a former paratrooper — tenacity, discipline, resilience — through cheerleading clinics he… » 11/13/13 9:36am 11/13/13 9:36am

Joe Frazier Was Cooler Than Ali. Discuss.

» 11/07/13 9:57am 11/07/13 9:57am

Joe Frazier died two years ago today. Now is as good a time as any to pay tribute to the former champ through a single photograph that best captured the unbridgeable distance between the two premier fighters of the age — a picture made at the very moment when the rivalry between Ali and Smokin' Joe was coming into… » 11/07/13 9:57am 11/07/13 9:57am

Halloween Special: Madness! Torture! Applause!

The legendary Grand Guignol Theater in Paris was not a haunted house, but a serious dramatic enterprise that put on gruesome, faux-blood-splattered shows year-round for decades. It featured staged killings, mutilations and scenes of depravity and torture so realistic that audience members often fled the theater in… » 10/31/13 11:36am 10/31/13 11:36am