Iconic ‘Cosmo Girl’ Helen Gurley Brown Dies

Helen Gurley Brown Dead: Legendary Cosmopolitan Editor Dies At 90

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Posted: 08/13/2012 3:15 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine who invited millions of women to join the sexual revolution, has died. She was 90.

Brown died Monday at a hospital in New York after a brief hospitalization, Hearst CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr. said in a statement.

“Sex and the Single Girl,” her grab-bag book of advice, opinion, and anecdote on why being single shouldn’t mean being sexless, made a celebrity of the 40-year-old advertising copywriter in 1962.

Three years later, she was hired by Hearst Magazines to turn around the languishing Cosmopolitan and it became her bully pulpit for the next 32 years.

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.”

“It was a terrific magazine,” she said, looking back when she surrendered the editorship of the U.S. edition in 1997. “I would want my legacy to be, ‘She created something that helped people.’ My reader, I always felt, was someone who needed to come into her own.”

Along the way she added to the language such terms as “Cosmo girl” — hip, sexy, vivacious and smart — and “mouseburger,” which she coined first in describing herself as a plain and ordinary woman who must work relentlessly to make herself desirable and successful.

She put big-haired, deep-cleavaged beauties photographed by Francesco Scavullo on the magazine’s cover, behind teaser titles like “Nothing Fails Like Sex-cess — Facts About Our Real Lovemaking Needs.”

 

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.