The inception, development, and rise of the Journal of Behavioral Medicine (JOBM) has paralleled that of the field of behavioral medicine. Under the leadership of founding editor, W. Doyle Gentry, published its first issue in 1978. The subsequent 40 years have seen JOBM progress to the level of a top tier journal publishing inter-disciplinary work devoted to furthering understanding of physical health and illness through the theories and methodologies of behavioral science. In recent years, JOBM has become a prominent international platform for scientific communication in the field of behavioral medicine. The present article examines many of the important milestones JOBM has achieved and examines the scope and impact of the most highly cited papers in the journal’s history. As Stephen Weiss and Gary Schwartz predicted 40 years ago, behavioral medicine is in a unique and powerful position to address a broad range of issues surrounding individual, community, and population health. It is the hope of the current editorial team that in the next 40 years the journal will facilitate a broadening of the clinical and public health contexts that the science and practice of behavioral medicine addresses and informs.