Helen Gurley Brown, the long-time editor-in-chief for Cosmopolitan magazine, has passed away at the age of 90. She took the editor-in-chief role in 1965, and held it for 32 years, before being replaced by Bonnie Fuller. Gurley Brown remained with publisher Hearst, however, keeping an editor role for the magazine’s 59 international editions, all the way up until her death.
“Helen Gurley Brown was an icon. Her formula for honest and straightforward advice about relationships, career and beauty revolutionized the magazine industry,” said Hearst CEO Frank Bennack. “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.”
Gurley Brown was also known for her best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl, which was published in 1962, when she was 40. She was married to film producer David Brown.
Hearst shared the following letter from Bennack to staff:
Dear Hearst Colleague:
I know you will join me in feelings of great sadness upon learning of the loss of our dear friend and colleague Helen Gurley Brown. Helen passed away this morning at the McKeen Pavilion at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia after a brief hospitalization. She was 90.
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.
Life here will somehow not seem the same without her near-daily arrival at 300 West 57th Street.
Donations may be made to The Pussycat Foundation, c/o Karen Sanborn, Hearst Corp., 300 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. The foundation benefits women in the United States by assisting them in joining the workforce, while pursuing their career and creative potential, as well as providing other charitable assistance. A fall memorial will be announced at a later date.
All good wishes,
Earlier this year, Gurley Brown donated (as part of her and her late husband’s joint philanthropy efforts) $30 million to Columbia and Stanford Universities, creating the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, which is designed to represent “the increasingly important connection between journalism and technology,” according to the schools. David Brown attended both.