Magazine Icon Helen Gurley Brown Dies at 90

The “Cosmopolitan” editor pioneered sex talk among young women

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Carrie Bradshaw owes her Manolos to Helen Gurley Brown.

The woman who wrote Sex and the Single Girl in 1962 went on to serve as the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965 to 1997, giving women permission to talk about sex openly. She died Monday in New York at the age of 90.

The New York Times reports Brown was a “tiny, fragile-looking woman who favored big jewelry, fishnet stockings and minidresses till she was well into her 80s … Ms. Brown routinely described herself as a feminist, but whether her work helped or hindered the cause of women’s liberation has been publicly debated for decades. It will doubtless be debated long after her death. What is safe to say is that she was a Janus-headed figure in women’s history, simultaneously progressive and retrogressive in her approach to women’s social roles.”

And today we will hoist a cosmo in her honor, quoting Brown’s words in our toast: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

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