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Great Assignments: LIFE Photographers Look Back

Over the course of its extraordinary run as the preeminent photography magazine of its time, LIFE sent its photographers all over the globe to cover the most famous, shocking, thrilling, controversial newsmakers and events of the 20th century. Marilyn Monroe. Steve McQueen. JFK. The Hells Angels. Woodstock. Muhammad Ali. If something or someone was on the minds of LIFE’s million of readers, or was central at that moment to the reat national conversation, LIFE’s photographers were there.

The result? A gallery in which several LIFE photographers recall favorite assignments and the people and places that — captured through their lenses — helped define both the era and their own stellar careers.

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