Brown, Helen Gurley

Brown, Helen Gurley,

1922–2012, American writer and editor, b. Green Forest, Ark. A child of poverty, she became a successful advertising copywriter and wrote the best-selling Sex and the Single Girl (1962), a young woman's primer on matters sexual and financial; its sequel Sex and the New Single Girl appeared in 1970. From 1965 to 1997 she was editor of Cosmopolitan, reviving the faltering magazine by directing it toward single young career women. Under her guidance the magazine charted the accomplishments and aspirations of these women in both their public and private lives. She is widely considered the first editor to provide open discussions of sex in a women's magazine. In 1993 she published The Late Show, which was aimed at older women.


See biographies by J. Scanlon (2009), B. Hauser (2016), and G. Hirshey (2016).

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Brown, Helen Gurley

(1922–  ) editor, writer; born in Green Forest, Ark. Propelled to fame by her best-seller Sex and the Single Girl (1962), she became editor of the floundering Cosmopolitan magazine in 1965 and gave it a new lease on life, as what some called the woman's counterpart to Playboy magazine.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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With: Peter Bart, David Brown, Helen Gurley Brown, David Cart, Jimmy Carter, Charles Champlin, George Christy, Kay Coleman, Janet De Cordova, Garth H.