By Kadia Blagrove , FashionnStyle Reporter | Aug 14, 2012 03:02 PM EDT
Before Candace Bushnell brought sex and the single girl lifestyle to newspaper columns and TV with "Sex and the City", there was Helen Gurley Brown - a woman way ahead of her time.
The author of "Sex and the Single Girl" - a book that shocked early 1960s America-has died on Monday in Manhattan; she was 90. Brown spotlighted the single gal and encouraged women to be sexually liberated. The cultural pioneer helped mold the image of strong women today. You may be familiar with the cheeky magazine, Cosmopolitan - Brown was editor-in-chief in 1965, she made the magazine what it is today. She spent thirty years tackling taboo topics and pushing women to feel comfortable in their own skin.
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The Hearst Corporation, Cosmopolitan's publisher, said in a news release that the legendary writer died at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital. She lived in Manhattan.
After being Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief from 1965 until 1997, Brown continued as an editor for all international Cosmopolitan issues. Brown has been greatly credited for being the first to frankly discuss women's sexuality in magazines. Bushnell pays homage to Brown with her own works of women's sexual freedom. "This really is the end of an era#HelenGurleyBrown," Bushnell tweeted.
Magazine covers of sultry women and naughty headlines are no small part due to Brown's influence.
Besides being an advocate for women, Brown was also a fashionista. Well into her old age as a tiny frail-looking woman, the author still dressed to the nines wearing big bold jewelry, fishnet stockings and mini dresses. During the rise of Cosmopolitan, single young women who dressed glamorously and fashion-forward were sometimes dubbed "Cosmo Girls."
Brown considered herself a feminist. During the peak of her career, the only women targeted in magazines were housewives. Brown spotlighted the forgotten and scorned crowd - all the single ladies. In an area where if a woman was 22 and unmarried she was considered an "old-maid", Brown gave those girls the license to take life into their own hands and enjoy living with or without a man.
Despite her advocacy for the single-girl lifestyle, Brown was not one. She was married for 50 years to American film producer David Brown until he died in 2010.
Brown's legacy lives on forever through publishing, music, and television. Helen Gurley Brown is a legend and an icon to us all.
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