Given the growing popularity of television in the mid-1950s, it may have seemed an inauspicious time to launch a weekly sports magazine. Media mogul Henry Luce didn't subscribe to that kind of logic, however. After all, he had launched Fortune magazine during the Great Depression and redefined business journalism in the process. Sports Illustrated ended up doing the same for sports coverage and is celebrated in Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, The Anniversary Book. Don't skip "1954," the chapter that describes the state of various sports and the country at the time of the magazine's August 16, 1954, debut.

SI's winning game plan includes imaginative photography (and often clever paintings) and the magazine's signature writing style. Several of the articles can be found in the book, but in a condensed form: only the opening spreads are included. SI is also known for its covers. All are presented here in chronological order as well as in a few thematic groupings. Yes, the swimsuit covers are included and discussed; curiously there is not one mention of the infamous "cover jinx."

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