In Memoriam: Helen Gurley Brown (1922 – 2012)

Helen Gurley Brown, Creator and first editor of Cosmopolitan, photo circa 1990s

Helen Gurley Brown, Creator and first editor of Cosmopolitan, photo circa 1990s

Magazine editor and author Helen Gurley Brown died today (August 13, 2012) in New York. She was 90. The advertising copywriter wrote the hit book Sex and the Single Girl (1962), becoming a role model for glamorous “career girls” in the Mad Men era. She was editor-in-chief of the venerable old (1886) Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965-97, turning it into a sex-, diet- and celeb-oriented money-maker, revolutionizing women’s magazines from then on. Brown was married from 1959 till his 2010 death to film producer David Brown. Her ethos was a whiplash-inducing mix of feminism and froth: “Cosmo is feminist in that we believe women are just as smart and capable as men and can achieve anything they want,” she wrote. “But it also acknowledges that while work is important, men are, too. The Cosmo Girl absolutely loves men!”—Eve Golden



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