Helen Gurley Brown, considered a legend and pioneer for her role as a longtime Cosmopolitan editor, author and feminist died this morning at the age of 90, according to a press release from Hearst. Brown was the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan from 1965 to 1997, and remained at Hearst as the international editor of 64 other editions until her death.
In addition to her role at Cosmopolitan, Brown penned three books: Sex and the Single Girl, Sex and the Office, and Sex and the New Single Girl. In her writing and through her role as Cosmo's EIC, Brown promoted a lifestyle of financial independence, glamour and sexual liberation that has been both heralded and criticized by the feminist community. Regardless, Brown has had an undeniable impact on today's women's magazines and created the idea of a "Cosmo girl."
“Helen Gurley Brown was an icon. Her formula for honest and straightforward advice about relationships, career and beauty revolutionized the magazine industry,” said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation. “She lived every day of her life to the fullest and will always be remembered as the quintessential ‘Cosmo girl.’ She will be greatly missed.”
“Helen was an inspiration, a true success story. Her energy, enthusiasm and true passion for women’s issues unleashed a platform for women worldwide,” said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines. “She brought the subject that every woman wanted to know about but nobody talked about, to life, literally, in Cosmo’s pages.”
When news broke of Brown's death, I was reading an article in New York's new fashion issue about Jane Pratt and couldn't help but think her publications--from Sassy to Jane to XOJane--couldn't have existed without Brown's influence.
Click through for some of her best quotes from over the years (i.e. “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere"), paired with her most glamorous looks.