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Celebrating 125 years of epic photography

By: Catie Leary on Sept. 28, 2013, 9:45 a.m.
young Afghan girl in a Pakistan refugee camp

Photo: Steve McCurry/National Geographic

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Iconic images

In October 1888, the National Geographic Society — a nonprofit dedicated to funding science and exploration across the planet — sent out the first issue of its official journal to 165 people. Since then, the periodical has expanded its subscription by more than 30 million people and become one of the most iconic brands in the world.

To mark its 125th anniversary, National Geographic magazine is dedicating the entire October issue to some of its most celebrated photographs, including this iconic shot of a young Afghan girl in a Pakistan refugee camp.

Taken by Steve McCurry for the magazine's June 1985 issue, the girl's piercing portrait became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Interestingly, the shot was originally placed in the reject pile before being rescued from oblivion by Editor Wilbur Garrett.

National Geographic October 2013 issue