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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in Cosmopolitan (2)


    Gerald Ford, President, Male Model: Vintage Cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine in Color

    President-to-be Gerald Ford worked as a male model in his late 20's and was featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan in April of 1942 in his Navy Uniform. Here is a color image of that cover of Ford and his girlfriend at the time, which was previously available only in black and white:

    Ford was not credited for posing for the illustration, but as luck would have it he met his future wife, Elizabeth Bloomer, while working as a model.

    Bonus photo: Gerald Ford campaigning on an elephant in Michigan shortly after the above cover shoot, in 1950.


    Calvin Coolidge was a Cosmo Girl

    Former President Bush's much-anticipated Decision Points hits the shelves tomorrow, adding one more post-presidential memoir to a long line of presidential autobiographies. With the exception of Taft, Wilson, Harding, Kennedy and FDR, every President of the 20th Century has published their own version of the events during their administration. 

    One which was exceptionally hyped at the time of its release was Calvin Coolidge's autobiography, which was serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine before it's publication. The project was shrouded in secrecy as Cosmo went to great lengths to keep the manuscript from the public eye. TIME Magazine reported at the time that a "dummy" article was planted as the cover story to serve as a placeholder before the Coolidge transcript was substituted in its place. In fact, the final article was assembled by unknowing editors in "meaningless segments" so as to further protect the full transcript from being stolen in advance of its release (story continued below). 

    The final story in April of 1929 was "Part One" of Coolidge's autobiography and was described by Cosmopolitan Editor Ray Long as the "most warmly human document it has ever been my good fortune to publish." He must have been grateful for the privilege to print a President's autobiography in what was, for all intents and purposes, a women's fashion magazine. But what's more fascinating and/or amusing is that it appears that Cosmo did some early "photoshopping" on a photograph of Mr. Coolidge. In the below image, the magazine points out that Coolidge has a copy of the magazine tucked under his arm but upon further inspection it appears that the title must have been painstakingly transcribed onto the image -- a harmless marketing maneuver:

    Whether or not President Coolidge actually read Cosmo is up for debate but in the end the PR tactic succeeded: the big story was announced only three days before the magazine hit the newsstands and only a month after Coolidge had left office.