Helen Gurley Brown, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan and Author of Sex And The Single Girl, Dead at 90
NEW YORK, August 13, 2012 – Helen Gurley Brown, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazines’ 64 international editions and one of the world’s most popular and influential editors, died today after a brief hospitalization at the McKeen Pavilion at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia. She was 90.
Widely heralded as a legend, Gurley Brown’s impact on popular culture and society reached around the globe, first with her 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl, and then for the more than three decades she put her personal stamp on Cosmopolitan in a way rarely replicated by editors. Under her reign, Cosmopolitan became the bible of “single girls” worldwide and remains the magazine of “fun, fearless, females” to this day.
“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.”
Her and her husband David Brown’s philanthropy also left an indelible mark on journalism: In January, Gurley Brown gave $30 million to Columbia and Stanford Universities. The gift created the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, housed at both Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and the School of Engineering at Stanford. The center represents the “increasingly important connection between journalism and technology, bringing the best from the East and West Coasts,” both schools announced. The journalism school said its $18 million share was the largest donation in its 100-year history.