USA. Manhattan, New York. 2010. Playing in a busted fire hydrant on the 4th of July.
USA. Manhattan, New York. 2010. Playing in a busted fire hydrant on the 4th of July.Peter van Agtmael—Magnum Photos
USA. Manhattan, New York. 2010. Playing in a busted fire hydrant on the 4th of July.
USA. Detroit, MI. 2012. Treasure's family at their home in Detroit. Shelley 'Treasure' Hilliard was murdered by a drug dealer after acting as a police informant following an arrest for marijuana possession. The police convinced her to act as an informant on her dealer and after she set him up, the police arrested him. They allegedly leaked her name to him for unclear reasons and released him several hours later. Within hours, Treasure was dead. Her case is part of a rash of murders of police informants as law enforcement increasingly relies on their use to apprehend criminals without exercising due diligence to protect them from revenge killings.
USA. Branson, Missouri. 2015. The parking lot of Dollie Parton’s Dixie Stampede.
USA. Bethesda, MD. 2013. My dad covers the master bedroom in plastic in preparation for a renovation.
USA. Bethesda, MD. 2015. My sister and niece Victoria and a bubble gun.
USA. Louisville, KY. 2015. Wyandotte, the neighborhood on the outskirts of Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held each year during the first weekend of May.  Taken during Derby weekend.
USA. Louisville, KY. 2015. Wyandotte, the neighborhood on the outskirts of Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held each year during the first weekend of May.  Taken during Derby weekend.
USA. Louisville, KY. 2015. The scene outside Churchill Downs after the Kentucky Derby.
USA.  Des Moines, Iowa.  2010.  The Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan dinner headlined by Sarah Palin.
USA. Louisville, Kentucky. 2016. During the Kentucky Derby.
USA.  Maryland. 2015. A member of the KKK after a cross lighting/burning.
USA. Brooklyn, New York. 2015. Washington Cemetery, a predominantly Jewish burial ground and the densest in New York City.
USA. Nashville, Tennessee. 2010.  The streets of Nashville.
USA. Detroit, MI. 2012. Treasure's family at their home in Detroit. Shelley 'Treasure' Hilliard was murdered by a drug dealer after acting as a police informant following an arrest for marijuana possession. The police convinced her to act as an informant on her dealer and after she set him up, the police arrested him. They allegedly leaked her name to him for unclear reasons and released him several hours later. Within hours, Treasure was dead. Her case is part of a rash of murders of police informants as law enforcement increasingly relies on their use to apprehend criminals without exercising due diligence to protect them from revenge killings.
USA. Detroit. Michigan. 2015. Dilapidated house in Detroit.
USA. Batiste, Oklahoma. 2014. The home of the grandmother of Joey Tom, an outreach director and stickball coach very active in the Choctaw nation.  His grandmother oversees well over a dozen children and grandchildren living with her.  She speaks some english but her primary language is Choctaw, a dying tradition.  None of her children speak it well.  She is also renowned as a tracker and a hunter.
USA. Molalla, Oregon. 2015. After the rodeo of the Molalla Buckeroo Association. One of the longest continuously running rodeos in the country, it began from the town's desire to celebrate the arrival of the train connecting it to the outside world.
USA. Manhattan, New York. 2010. Playing in a busted fire hydrant on the 4th of July.
Peter van Agtmael—Magnum Photos
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Mother's Day Special: LIFE With Famous Moms

May 10, 2012

Madre. Maman. Mãe. Oma. Inay. Mutter. Mum. Mor. Mama. However you say it, in whatever language, the word for "mother" has a thousand and one subtle variations, most of which usually translate, at one time or another, into something like: "Thanks for everything, mom."

Here, on Mother's Day weekend, LIFE.com offers a selection of portraits of famous moms (Jackie Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine) with their kids, famous kids (Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren) with their moms and, in a few instances, famous kids with their famous moms.

[See TIME.com's "Top 10 Movie Moms We Wish Were Ours."]

The focus of the gallery, however, is most decidedly not meant to suggest that famous moms are any more worthy of notice than any other mothers anywhere in the world who feed, clothe, encourage, protect, challenge and, ultimately, unconditionally love their children. Rather, this gallery is, quite frankly, a simple acknowledgement that, like most everybody else, we're more or less fascinated by fame.

"Let me tell you about the very rich," F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. "They are different from you and me." An observation to which he might well have added: "And the famous? They're a whole lot stranger."

But whether rich or famous (or neither); whether strange or perfectly, unpretentiously, refreshingly normal, moms deserve recognition simply because — as all of us will readily admit in our more brutally honest moments — moms rule the world. And while devoting one measly day a year to celebrating and honoring mothers everywhere might be a rather feeble way to express our gratitude and love . . . not to worry. They're moms. They understand.

Still, would it kill you to pick up the phone once in a while?

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.