John Elson

The cover image for the April 8, 1966, issue of TIME was the first in the magazine's history to use only words: "Is God Dead?" The story brought a brimstone of controversy, but given the depth of the reporting, few could argue that the writer had not done his homework. "It would have been easier to do in the Middle Ages," John Elson said of the story. "Easier because they had a God then that was consistent." The pungent, witty remark was vintage Elson, who died on Sept. 7 at 78. In his four decades at TIME, Elson wrote more than...

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