"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."I was never the Cosmo girl type, but I respect the media genius, even one who speaks mostly to other people. Though I never bought a copy of Cosmo for myself, I read every issue of the magazine for 2 years in the mid-70s, when I had my pre-law school job in a market research company, analyzing magazines, and Cosmo was one of the magazines.
It was her 17th job, at the advertising agency Foote, Cone, and Belding, that launched her future success. As executive secretary to Don Belding, Gurley Brown's work ethic and witty notes impressed both her boss and his wife, who suggested she try her hand at writing advertising copy. She proved her talent, winning prizes for her copy. By the late 1950s, she had become the highest-paid female copywriter on the West Coast and one of the few to be listed in Who's Who of American Women. (She is also recognized in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in The World, and the World Book of Facts.)
In 1959, at the age of 37, Gurley Brown married Brown, 43, then a film executive at 20th Century Fox Studios, and later an independent producer. During their marriage, Brown was a partner behind many of Gurley Brown's projects, even writing Cosmo cover lines. It was he who persuaded her to write a book about her life as a single woman. The result, Sex and the Single Girl (1962), took the nation—and then globe—by storm....She was a famously single woman and a brilliantly married woman. There's lots more at the linked article, which ends with the quote:
The Browns... worked together to keep Helen in the public eye. She wrote a syndicated newspaper advice column and made record albums and radio spots. The pair pitched plays, television shows, more books, and new magazines for single women. One, a magazine called Femme, attracted the interest of Hearst Magazines. But instead of a new title, they agreed to let her try to revive Cosmopolitan magazine.
"Before I wrote my book, the thought was that sex was for men and women only caved in to please men. But I wrote what I knew to be true—that sex is pleasurable for both women and men."Here's the ultra-famous book. (And here's the movie they made out of it — with Natalie Wood.)