Best of America

Here’s Proof Selfies Have Been Popular Since 1839

Flip through a brief history of America's favorite photo trend.

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1839

Robert Cornelius/Getty Images

Philadelphia photographer Robert Cornelius takes one of the first photographic self-portraits.

1925

Anatol Josepho, 1928-30, International Center of Photography, Gift of the Josepho Family, 2008.

Anatol Josepho invents the photo booth, bringing the selfie into the public sphere.

1953

Courtesy AV Archives John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Jacqueline Kennedy and then-Senator John F. Kennedy are only two of the booth’s many famous boosters.

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1966

Buzz Aldrin/Courtesy Whosay

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin snaps himself on a Gemini XII spacewalk; he claims it was the first space selfie.

2011

Courtesy Jennifer Lee

San Franciscan Jennifer Lee posts the first self-portrait with the #selfie hashtag on Instagram.

2013

Courtesy Lebron James

Selfies snowball, and pet, gym, as demonstrated here by LeBron James, and other themed selfless emerge. 

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2014

Ellen DeGernes/AP Photo

As Academy Awards host, Ellen DeGeneres arranges a seemingly spontaneous star-studded selfie, only to have it unmasked a day later as part of a promotion for Samsung.


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