Helen Gurley Brown, famed Cosmopolitan Editor and author of the 1962 book, “Sex and the Single Girl,” passed away today in Manhattan at the age of 90.
Shocking for her uninhibited discussions about women’s sexuality, Brown was responsible for fleshing out the unprecedented image of the Cosmo Girl as one who lived, worked, and loved with independent and unbridled ambition. Today’s newsstands, filled with glam shots of models and actresses, are strong testaments to Brown’s lasting impact on the magazine industry.
Brown said in the interview below:
The idea was: there should be a magazine for women who love men and love children, but didn’t want to live through anybody else. They were going to do something on their own. You didn’t want to get your identity from your football-playing brother or your account executive husband or your rockstar boyfriend. Well, nobody, for heaven’s sake, had ever thought of that before. So it was a wonderful format for a magazine. And it was just the right time. The challenge was simply to get it done.
After running the U.S. edition Cosmopolitan for over three decades, Brown relinquished control in 1997 and continued her reign as editor-in-chief for all international editions.
In this undated video interview with Small Business Magazine TV, Helen Gurley Brown discusses the challenges of rebranding Cosmopolitan with little experience and a huge ambition.