Helen Gurley Brown was the Editor-in-Chief of the US edition of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years. She came in and raised a sluggish readership to ground-breaking numbers and sales. While she left her editorship of the US edition in 1997, she continued to work on foreign editions.
Brown died today at a hospital in New York after a brief hospitalization. She married at age 37 to movie producer David Brown, whose credits include The Sting and Jaws. The couple had no children (by choice).
Before taking on the editorship at Cosmo, she was one of the highest-paid copywriters in advertising at the time.
She wrote a best-selling book in 1962 titled, Sex and the Single Girl. Her book consisted of a mixture of advice and her opinion that being single shouldn’t mean being sexless. She went on to write five more books.
She said at the outset that her aim was to tell a reader “How to get everything out of life – the money, recognition, success, men, prestige, authority, dignity – whatever she is looking at through the glass her nose is pressed against.”
She termed the definition “Cosmo Girl” making it into a persona every woman wanted to be thought of- hip, sexy, vivacious, and smart.
Brown always felt her Cosmo demographic were women who were trying to become the person they were meant to be-and she helped shape many lives with her opinions on sexual freedoms. She will be remembered as one of the great feminist pioneers.