Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and groundbreaking author of Sex and the Single Girl, died in New York on Monday. She was 90 years old.
"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 A. Bennack Jr. in a statement. "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."
Brown edited Cosmopolitan for 32 years and wrote books on everything from sex, love, and relationships to money and success. She was also widely admired for her sharp wit. In 2007, when Vanity Fair asked which historical figure she identified with most, Brown replied, "Cleopatra. She was a good boss and had a good love life."
The same, undoubtedly, can be said of Brown. See a sampling of her seemingly endless supply of quotes and witticisms, below.
- "Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep."
- "You cannot sit around like a cupcake asking other people to come and eat you up and discover your great sweetness and charm. You've got to make yourself more cupcakable all the time so you're a better cupcake to be gobbled up."
- "Good girls go to heaven; bad girls go everywhere."
- "One of the paramount reasons for staying attractive is so you can have somebody to go to bed with."
- "Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody."
- "My success was not based so much on any great intelligence but on great common sense."
- "You can have your titular recognition. I'll take money and power."
- "I address everybody as 'pussycat,' but nobody minds, and it's a nice term of endearment."
- "There has been lots of copying — look at Glamour. I used to have all the sex to myself."
- "The message was: So you're single. You can still have sex. You can have a great life. And if you marry, don't just sponge off a man or be the gold-medal-winning mother. Don't use men to get what you want in life — get it for yourself."