The Sports Fan’s Guide to Collecting JET Magazines

11001934_10206045994055155_3700281061101023667_n
Finally!! Thanks, Black History Hut!

Jet Magazine (Johnson Publications, Chicago, IL) was founded in 1951 as “The Weekly Negro News Magazine” and remained in print through 2014, when it assumed a digital-only format. Over the years, a large number of prominent African American athletes graced its covers, and its sports coverage often highlighted issues of racism and civil rights issues.

My enthusiasm for collecting these magazines stems from two factors. For one thing, mainstream (i.e., white target market) magazines often took a condescending and racist approach in their profiling of black athletes. For another, these same magazines (e.g., Sports Illustrated and Sports) were slow to include black athletes on their covers, at least relative to the incredible on-field influence and achievement of these athletes. For example, Hank Aaron’s first Sports Illustrated cover was not until 1969 (!), despite SI’s enthusiasm for featuring the Hammer’s white Milwaukee Braves teammates:

  • August 16, 1954 – Eddie Mathews
  • August 15, 1955 – Eddie Mathews
  • June 25, 1956 – Warren Spahn
  • July 30, 1956 – Joe Adcock
  • April 21, 1958 – Del Crandall
  • June 2, 1958 – Eddie Mathews
  • July 7, 1958 – Del Crandall
  • June 6, 1960 – Red Shoendienst

In my experience of seemingly circling the Earth in a (finally successful!) attempt to find the June 18, 1959, Hank Aaron issue, I managed to acquire a knowledge of Jet that I thought could prove useful to other collectors. Since a good first step in any collection is having a checklist of what’s out there, here is what I believe to be a complete catalog of Jet magazines featuring athletes on the cover. My work is currently complete only through December 31, 1989, but I will plan to finish all the way to 2014 soon. Please send me any comments or corrections.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BASEBALL COVERS (THRU 12/31/89)

Date Athlete(s) Sport(s)
19-Jun-1952 Larry Doby, Luke Easter (without photos) Baseball
9-Oct-1952 Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella Baseball
1-Sep-1955 Don Newcombe Baseball
26-Apr-1956 Ernie Banks Baseball
3-Jul-1958 Willie Mays Baseball
16-Apr-1959 Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, Minnie Minoso, Elston Howard Baseball
18-Jun-1959 Hank Aaron Baseball
26-Apr-1962 Willie Mays, Elston Howard, Minnie Minoso, Jim Gilliam, Billy Williams Baseball
13-Jun-1963 Walter Alston, Maury Wills, Jim Gilliam, Willie Davis, Tommie Davis, Nate Oliver, John Roseboro Baseball
30-Apr-1964 Rutledge Pearson Baseball
11-Jun-1964 Willie Mays Baseball
15-Jul-1965 Houston Astros ballplayer (Walt Bond? Lee Maye?) Baseball
23-Sep-1965 Willie Mays Baseball
5-May-1966 Willie Mays Baseball
11-May-1967 John Roseboro, Willie Davis, Lou Johnson Baseball
7-Sep-1967 Willie Mays Baseball
14-Mar-1968 Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean Baseball
5-Sep-1968 Hank Aaron Baseball
19-Jun-1969 Ernie Banks Baseball
7-Aug-1969 Reggie Jackson Baseball
12-Feb-1970 Curt Flood Baseball
16-Jul-1970 Dick Allen Baseball
13-Aug-1970 Willie Mays Baseball
10-Sep-1970 Jackie Robinson Baseball
15-Jul-1971 Vida Blue Baseball
14-Oct-1971 Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Vida Blue Baseball
13-Apr-1972 Hank Aaron Baseball
22-Jun-1972 Willie Mays Baseball
3-Aug-1972 Dick Allen Baseball
12-Oct-1972 Jackie Robinson Baseball
16-Nov-1972 Jackie Robsinson Baseball
19-Apr-1973 Hank Aaron, Dick Allen, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Billy Williams Baseball
19-Jul-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
30-Aug-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
11-Oct-1973 Willie Mays Baseball
13-Dec-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
25-Apr-1974 Hank Aaron Baseball
15-Aug-1974 Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Maury Wills, Elston Howard, Larry Doby Baseball
24-Oct-1974 Frank Robinson Baseball
4-May-1978 Reggie Jackson Baseball
18-Sep-1980 Dave Parker Baseball
17-Jan-1983 Reggie Jackson Baseball

ALL SPORTS (THRU 12/31/89)

Date Athlete(s) Sport(s)
6-Mar-1952 Jersey Joe Wolcott Boxing
19-Jun-1952 Larry Doby, Luke Easter (without photos) Baseball
9-Oct-1952 Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella Baseball
18-Feb-1954 Joe Louis Boxing
1-Sep-1955 Don Newcombe Baseball
26-Apr-1956 Ernie Banks Baseball
3-Jul-1958 Willie Mays Baseball
16-Apr-1959 Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, Minnie Minoso, Elston Howard Baseball
18-Jun-1959 Hank Aaron Baseball
4-Jan-1962 Sandy Stephens Football
26-Apr-1962 Willie Mays, Elston Howard, Minnie Minoso, Jim Gilliam, Billy Williams Baseball
27-Sep-1962 Sonny Liston, Ingemar Johansson, Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, Rocky Marciano, Ray Robinson, Archie Moore Boxing
13-Jun-1963 Walter Alston, Maury Wills, Jim Gilliam, Willie Davis, Tommie Davis, Nate Oliver, John Roseboro Baseball
16-Apr-1964 Bob Hayes Track and Field
30-Apr-1964 Rutledge Pearson Baseball
11-Jun-1964 Willie Mays Baseball
5-Nov-1964 Earline Brown Olympics
15-Jul-1965 Houston Astros ballplayer (Walt Bond? Lee Maye?) Baseball
23-Sep-1965 Willie Mays Baseball
5-May-1966 Willie Mays Baseball
11-Aug-1966 Jim Brown Football
13-Apr-1967 Jim Brown Football
11-May-1967 John Roseboro, Willie Davis, Lou Johnson Baseball
6-Jul-1967 Charlie Greene Track and Field
7-Sep-1967 Willie Mays Baseball
18-Jan-1968 Wilt Chamberlain Basketball
14-Mar-1968 Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean Baseball
5-Sep-1968 Hank Aaron Baseball
12-Sep-1968 Floyd Patterson Boxing
17-Apr-1969 Muhammad Ali Boxing
19-Jun-1969 Ernie Banks Baseball
7-Aug-1969 Reggie Jackson Baseball
18-Dec-1969 Muhammad Ali Boxing
12-Feb-1970 Curt Flood Baseball
28-May-1970 Joe Louis Boxing
16-Jul-1970 Dick Allen Baseball
13-Aug-1970 Willie Mays Baseball
3-Sep-1970 Muhammad Ali Boxing
10-Sep-1970 Jackie Robinson Baseball
22-Oct-1970 Eddie McAshan Football
19-Nov-1970 Muhammad Ali Boxing
25-Mar-1971 Joe Frazier Boxing
15-Apr-1971 Muhammad Ali Boxing
15-Jul-1971 Vida Blue Baseball
22-Jul-1971 Muhammad Ali Boxing
28-Jul-1971 Cheryl White Horseracing
14-Oct-1971 Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Vida Blue Baseball
30-Mar-1972 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain Basketball
13-Apr-1972 Hank Aaron Baseball
22-Jun-1972 Willie Mays Baseball
3-Aug-1972 Dick Allen Baseball
21-Sep-1972 American Olympian Track and Field
12-Oct-1972 Jackie Robinson Baseball
16-Nov-1972 Jackie Robsinson Baseball
4-Jan-1973 Johnny Rodgers, Greg Pruitt, Condredge Holloway Football
16-Jan-1973 Joe Frazier Boxing
15-Feb-1973 George Foreman Boxing
19-Apr-1973 Hank Aaron, Dick Allen, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Billy Williams Baseball
19-Jul-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
30-Aug-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
11-Oct-1973 Willie Mays Baseball
13-Dec-1973 Hank Aaron Baseball
17-Jan-1974 O.J. Simpson Football
31-Jan-1974 Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier Boxing
14-Feb-1974 Jim Brown Football
4-Apr-1974 Walt Frazier Basketball
25-Apr-1974 Hank Aaron Baseball
15-Aug-1974 Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Maury Wills, Elston Howard, Larry Doby Baseball
26-Sep-1974 Muhammad Ali, George Foreman Boxing
24-Oct-1974 Frank Robinson Baseball
21-Nov-1974 Muhammad Ali Boxing
16-Mar-1975 Muhammad Ali Boxing
5-Jun-1975 Arthur Ashe Tennis
16-Oct-1975 Muhammad Ali Boxing
11-Dec-1975 O.J. Simpson Football
22-Apr-1976 Muhammad Ali Boxing
23-Sep-1976 Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton Boxing
17-Feb-1977 Muhammad Ali Boxing
21-Apr-1977 O.J. Simpson Football
1-Dec-1977 O.J. Simpson Football
15-Dec-1977 Ken Norton Boxing
4-May-1978 Reggie Jackson Baseball
8-Jun-1978 Leon Spinks Boxing
22-Jun-1978 Joe Louis Boxing
27-Jul-1968 Muhammad Ali Boxing
14-Sep-1978 Muhammad Ali, Leon Spinks Boxing
16-Nov-1978 O.J. Simpson Football
10-May-1979 O.J. Simpson Football
17-May-1979 Muhammad Ali Boxing
27-Sep-1979 Muhammad Ali Boxing
1-Nov-1979 Larry Holmes Boxing
20-Dec-1979 Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing
17-Apr-1980 Muhammad Ali Boxing
18-Sep-1980 Dave Parker Baseball
9-Oct-1980 Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing
19-Mar-1981 Joe Frazier, Marvis Frazier Boxing
9-Apr-1981 Larry Holmes Boxing
30-Apr-1981 Joe Louis Boxing
7-May-1981 Paula McGee, Pam McGee Basketball
4-Jun-1981 Tony Dorsett Football
24-Sep-1981 Muhammad Ali Boxing
29-Oct-1981 Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing
7-Jan-1982 Tony Dorsett Football
10-May-1982 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Basketball
7-Jun-1982 Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing
17-Jan-1983 Reggie Jackson Baseball
14-Mar-1983 Dwight Braxton, Michael Spinks Boxing
4-Apr-1983 Herschel Walker Football
30-Apr-1984 Muhammad Ali Boxing
13-May-1985 Muhammad Ali Boxing
22-Jul-1985 Muhammad Ali Boxing
18-Nov-1985 Walter Payton Football
22-Dec-1986 Muhammad Ali Boxing
28-Dec-1987 Mike Tyson Boxing
12-Sep-1988 Florence Griffith Joyner Track and Field
3-Oct-1988 Mike Tyson Boxing
14-Nov-1988 Mike Tyson Boxing
5-Dec-1988 Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing
12-Jun-1989 Michael Jordan Basketball
24-Jul-1989 Mike Tyson Boxing
9-Oct-1989 Michael Jordan Basketball
11-Dec-1989 Isaiah Thomas Basketball
Advertisements