Final part in a series.
How appropriate that a publication whose launch was dominated by photography of the technological wonder of the day should end its run with an equally impressive tribute to mankindâ€™s latest technological accomplishment. As noted earlier, LIFEâ€™s final issue was released a scant three weeks after Apollo 17, NASAâ€™s last trip to the moon, and in the magazineâ€™s concluding essays it found a fitting kinship with that mission.
Both LIFE and the Apollo program remained physically strong to the last â€“ many regard Apollo 17 as the most successful of all the moon landings (12/29/72), and while LIFE was awash in red ink, its failures arguably related more to mismanagement than to substantive textual issues (in 1969 the magazine had reached an all-time circulation high of 8.5 million) (van Zuilen). Both were, in the end, overcome by financial difficulties and a lack of institutional will to carry on. Read more