Trailblazing magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown has passed away after a brief hospitalization, according to a Hearst Corporation press release. She was 90.
“Widely heralded as a legend, Gurley Brown’s impact on popular culture and society reached around the globe, first with her 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl, and then for the more than three decades she put her personal stamp on Cosmopolitan in a way rarely replicated by editors,” the release reads in part. “Under her reign, Cosmopolitan became the bible of ‘single girls’ worldwide and remains the magazine of ‘fun, fearless, females’ to this day.”
Gurley Brown was born in Green Forest, Ark. on February 18, 1922. After stints at Texas State College for Women and Woodbury Business College, the future publishing superstar took on a series of secretarial jobs. She eventually transitioned into writing advertising copy, then cemented herself as a public figure in 1962 with the publication of Sex and the Single Girl. Gurley Brown went on to become Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief in 1965, transforming the conservative periodical into a must-read magazine for young, single women. She left her position in 1997, moving on to become editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan’s international editions (which now number 64).
Gurley Brown will be remembered for her impact on the publishing industry, her contributions to the culture at large, and sly quips like this famous line: “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.”