Photography of George Lois
You cannot say ‘iconic photos’ without mentioning George Lois or the Esquire covers he created during the 1960s–Muhammad Ali, pierced with six arrows, as Saint Sebastian, a martyr to his faith; Andy Warhol drowning in his own Campbell’s Soup; Stalin’s only daughter Svetlana with a drawn-on mustache; Lt. William Calley, the man responsible for My Lai massacre, surrounded by four Vietnamese children.
In the fall of 1962, George Lois came up with an extremely controversial cover (even by his standards) for the magazine’s December 1962 featuring a blown-up photo of a soldier with the cover line: “Merry Christmas, I’m the 100th G.I. killed in Vietnam.” As the soldier, he used his own photo taken during the Korean War. The State and Defense Department decried the idea and it was never published.
One can see all of Lois’ covers and Lois’ detailed descriptions about them here.