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Original 'Cosmo' Girl Helen Gurley Brown Dies At 90

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business: Cosmo Girl.

The original Cosmo Girl, longtime editor Helen Gurley Brown, died yesterday. Brown became famous in the 1960s with her best-seller, "Sex and the Single Girl." In it, she urged single women to embrace careers and sexuality.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The book led to a three-decades-long career editing "Cosmopolitan." Helen Gurley Brown took the magazine from dowdy home and garden coverage, to a saucy handbook for single women.

MONTAGNE: The weapons in her arsenal were glamour, sex and cleavage. It was a winning formula. She increased circulation from 800,000 to a peak of about 3 million.

GREENE: In a 1997 interview with NPR, Brown said the essence of the Cosmo Girl - a woman trying to make it on her own - hasn't changed over the years.

HELEN GURLEY BROWN: The world has changed. More things are possible for this wonderful group of young women: more jobs, more opportunities, less discrimination because you're female. But the woman herself - the basic, inside girl - she's the same person.

MONTAGNE: Helen Gurley Brown lived to be 90 years old. And perhaps one of the more unexpected events in her life, was that she was declared a living landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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