December 29, 1975 12:00 PM

Last year at this time, when we published our first special double issue and picked the 25 most intriguing people of 1974, we said we expected “mail from readers asking how in tarnation we could have (1) included this individual, or (2) left that one out.”

We got the mail, lots of it. How could we have chosen Pat Nixon, John Glenn, Valerie Harper and Jimmy Connors, to name a few, and forgotten about Barbra Streisand, Richard Nixon, Nobel prize-winner in economics Friedrich von Hayek—and even Marilyn Monroe?

Undaunted, we are venturing forth again with our list of the 25 most intriguing people of 1975. An argument can be made for each of the 25, we think, and argue we did among ourselves at great length. “Intriguing” again was our operating adjective—not just interesting, because we were looking for an extra element of fascination or mystery, and certainly not only bizarre, because we believed our nominees should have had some impact on our lives. (Only one 1974 choice was repeated: Patty Hearst.)

We expect some of the same “how could you” reaction to our top 25 this time. Not all of the names will be familiar to all readers, but we hope you will be intrigued by those that come as a surprise. To a greater degree than all the others we considered, in our judgment these 25 men and women excited or angered us, made us laugh or despair, provoked us to envy, puzzlement, pride and respect. In other words, they proved themselves in superlative degree to be the kind of human beings you expect to find in this magazine.

We also look ahead and offer some names and faces who we believe will be making news in 1976 in the arts, show business, literature and at the Olympics. Our record last December of personalities to watch for this year wasn’t half bad. Catfish Hunter had a terrific season even if the Yankees didn’t. Poet Sylvia Plath’s Letters Home has caused quite a stir. Shenandoah became a Broadway hit, and Stockard Channing was a very funny lady in an otherwise disappointing film, The Fortune.

We should also point out (before somebody else does) that Stephanie Edwards disappeared from ABC’s morning show (and so eventually did the show). Norman Lear’s Hot L Baltimore lost its lease. And our astrologer predicted marriage for Liz Taylor in 1977 (which, come to think of it, could certainly happen, again).

As for the rest of this special issue, we select 10 poor souls with whom 1975 dealt harshly, and ask famed psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers to take their predicaments to her couch. Her heart is in the right place, even if her tongue is in the vicinity of her cheek.

In view of the upcoming presidential election, we thought it might be instructive to look at the wives of some of the men who yearn for the Oval Office (if in some cases they haven’t actually said so yet). We recruited a practitioner of the ancient art of Chinese face-reading to inspect photographs of these putative First Ladies. From their courageous faces, Grace Lee has come up with provacative insights and judgments.

As our Publisher recently noted on this page, we have many supporters to thank for the success PEOPLE has enjoyed this year—advertisers, magazine wholesalers and retailers but, especially, for all of us on the editorial staff, our readers. Putting out a weekly magazine sold at newsstands is like running for office every seven days. We win or lose by your purchases, your votes. From the rock-bound coast of Maine to the sunny shores of California, you have given us a landslide. You will continue to enjoy PEOPLE in 1976. We take an oath on it.

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