HELEN GURLEY BROWN Biography - Producers, publishers & editors


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Name: Helen Gurley Brown                                                               
Born: 18 February 1922 Green Forest, Arkansas                                         
Helen Gurley Brown (b. February 18, 1922 in Green Forest, Arkansas), is an             
author, publisher, and businesswoman. She was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan         
magazine for 32 years.                                                                 
Brown's father died in an accident when she was young, and her sister was a           
polio victim. She was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas.                                 
From 1939 to 1941 she attended Texas State College for Women and Woodbury             
Business College.                                                                     
After a stint in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency, she went to work for       
a prominent advertising agency as a secretary. Her employer recognized her             
writing skills and moved her to the copywriting department where she advanced         
rapidly to become one of the nation's highest paid ad copywriters in the early         
1960s. In 1959 she married David Brown who was producer of Jaws, The Sting,           
Cocoon, Driving Miss Daisy, and other motion pictures.                                 
In 1962, at the age of 40, Brown authored the bestselling book Sex and the             
Single Girl. In 1965 she became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and reversed the       
fortunes of the failing magazine. During the decade of the 1960s she was an           
outspoken advocate of women's sexual freedom and sought to provide them with           
role-models and a guide in her magazine. Brown claimed that women could have it       
all, "love, sex, and money". Due to her advocacy, the liberated single woman was       
often referred to generically as the "Cosmo Girl". Her work played a part in           
what is often called the sexual revolution.                                           
In the mid 1990s Brown was ousted from her role as the US editor of Cosmopolitan       
and was replaced by Bonnie Fuller. However, Brown stayed on at Hearst publishing       
and remains the international editor for all 59 international editions of Cosmo.