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Cosmo girl Helen Gurley Brown dead at 90

Helen Gurley Brown

Helen Gurley Brown Credit: Helen Gurley Brown (Getty Images)

Helen Gurley Brown, the legendary editor of Cosmopolitan magazine who helped usher in the sexual revolution, died Monday at the age of 90.

"Helen was one of the world's most recognized magazine editors and book authors, and a true pioneer for women in journalism," Frank Bennack Jr., chief executive of the Hearst Corporation, wrote in a memo to staff confirming Gurley Brown's death.

Hearst is the parent company of Cosmopolitan.

Gurley Brown put her stamp on Cosmopolitan, editing the magazine for 30 years, which became famous for its cover lines extolling the virtues of sex.

Gurley Brown was at the forefront of changing sexual mores when she wrote "Sex and the Single Girl," published in 1962, about her single life, encouraging women to have sex freely regardless of their martial status.

She died at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center after a brief hospitalization, Bennack wrote.

"Today New York City lost a pioneer who reshaped not only the entire media industry, but the nation's culture. She was a role model for the millions of women whose private thoughts, wonders and dreams she addressed so brilliantly in print. She was a quintessential New Yorker: never afraid to speak her mind and always full of advice. She pushed boundaries and often broke them, clearing the way for younger women to follow in her path. I was honored to be her friend and know how deeply she cared about the City she called home. We will miss her, but her impact on our culture and society will live on forever." Mayor Michael Bloomberg statement, if needed.

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