(NEW YORK) -- Helen Gurley Brown, the legendary editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Monday in New York. She was 90.
Gurley Brown first made headlines with her 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl, which scandalously, for the time, encouraged women to pursue careers, enjoy the single life and sex, and actively pursue sexual relationships outside marriage. In July of 1965, she became the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, turning it into the bible for "fun, fearless females" everywhere.
Under her leadership, Cosmopolitan, featuring provocative headlines and articles, as well as models with plenty of cleavage on the front cover, grew into an international force: it's now published in 35 languages in more than 100 countries.
Named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in the U.S. five times by The World Almanac, Gurley was married for 51 years to David Brown, a Hollywood producer who produced movies like Jaws, The Sting, The Verdict, Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy.
A statement on the Hearst Corporation's website reads, "It would be hard to overstate the importance to Hearst of her success with Cosmopolitan, or the value of the friendship many of us enjoyed with her. Helen was one of the world’s most recognized magazine editors and book authors, and a true pioneer for women in journalism -- and beyond."
In a statement, Barbara Walters said of Gurley Brown, "Helen liked to call herself, her readers and her pals, ‘pussycat’. She taught us all how to purr to get what we wanted -- men, sex and success. She was a great editor and a Cosmopolitan heroine in every sense of the word.“
A memorial is planned for this fall.
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