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Legendary Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown dead at 90

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) -- Helen Gurley Brown, the legendary editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and whose book encouraged young women around the world to enjoy being single and take pleasure in sex, died Monday at a hospital in New York. She was 90 years old.

Gurley Brown died at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center on Monday after a brief stay, according to Hearst Corporation, giving no other details.

"Helen Gurley Brown was an icon. Her formula for honest and straightforward advice about relationships, career and beauty revolutionized the magazine industry," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation. "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."

Widely heralded as a legend, Gurley Brown helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with her 1962 book 'Sex and the Single Girl' which dominated the bestseller lists for more than a year. The book, which has been published in 28 countries and translated into 16 languages, encouraged young women to enjoy being single, find fulfillment in work and non-marital relationships with men, and take pleasure in sex.

"Before I wrote my book, the thought was that sex was for men and women only caved in to please men," Gurley Brown explained in 2006 when asked about her book, which was followed by the 1964 bestseller 'Sex and the Office.' "But I wrote what I knew to be true - that sex is pleasurable for both women and men."

Gurley Brown continued her work, writing a syndicated newspaper advice column, making record albums and radio spots, and pitching plays, television shows, books, and new magazines for single women. A magazine called 'Femme' attracted the interest of Hearst Magazines, but instead of a new title, they agreed to let her try to revive Cosmopolitan magazine.

Gurley Brown officially became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan in July 1965 and quickly launched it into publishing history. The magazine grew to 300 pages in the 1980s, a third of which were highly lucrative advertisements. Since then, its sales and advertising have risen spectacularly and Cosmopolitan remains the top-selling young women's magazine in the world with 64 international editions which are distributed in 35 languages in more than 100 countries.

"Helen was an inspiration, a true success story. Her energy, enthusiasm and true passion for women's issues unleashed a platform for women worldwide," said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines. "She brought the subject that every woman wanted to know about but nobody talked about, to life, literally, in Cosmo's pages."

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