Helen Gurley Brown and Cosmopolitan

The former Cosmo Editor-in-Chief died at the age of 90.  She ran the Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years.  She is best known for her provocative thinking on women sexuality.

Born on February 18, 1922 in Green Forest, Arkansas, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 10 with her mother after the death of her father.  After her graduation from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School, she worked as a typist as well as other jobs with private companies.  She married David Brown, a former Cosmopolitan Managing Editor and a movie producer who made the “Jaws” and “The Sting”.  She wrote “Sex and the Single Girl” during the early part of her marriage life.  After selling rights to make a movie of her book, she moved to New York in 1962.

She was hired by the Hearst Magazines to run the failing Cosmopolitan in 1965.  Within three months of her hiring, the circulation of the Cosmo increased to 800,000.  Sales of the magazine peaked over three million in 1983 and she left the magazine in 1997.  However, she stayed as the Editor-in-Chief of the foreign editions.

She may be well known for her provocative sex stories, but for Cosmo readers she is the one who turnaround the magazine.