Former Cosmo Editor Helen Gurley Brown Dead At 90
Brown died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia after a brief hospitalization, the Hearst Corporation said in The New York Times. No cause of death was reported.
Before arriving at Cosmopolitan, Brown penned the best-selling book “Sex and the Single Girl” in 1962, just a year before Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” helped spark the modern women’s movement.
More from The New York Times:
Before she took over, Cosmopolitan, like its competitors, was every inch a postwar product. Its target reader was a married suburbanite, preoccupied with maintaining the perfect figure, raising the perfect child and making the perfect Jell-O salad.
Ms. Brown tossed the children and the Jell-O, though she kept the diet advice with a vengeance. Yes, readers would need to land Mr. Right someday — the magazine left little doubt that he was still every woman’s grail. But in an era in which an unmarried woman was called an old maid at 23, the new Cosmopolitan gave readers license not to settle for settling down with just anyone, and to enjoy the search with blissful abandon for however long it took.
When Brown took over Cosmo, the magazine had a circulation of less than 800,000, but then peaked at nearly three million in the 1980s.
In 1959, Helen Gurley married David Brown, a former managing editor of Cosmopolitan. David Brown died in 2010 and the couple had no children.