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The one and only, via Getty
Today's media is flooded with tributes to Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, who passed away at the age of 90 yesterday. Of the many sassy HGB quotes and amusing anecdotes—the woman was a force, as they say in the South—we pulled a few of our favorites below. RIP, HGB.
She was the coiner of the term mouseburger:
She once accidentally worked as an, er, escort:
At 19, she answered a newspaper advertisement seeking young women for "social evenings," the story goes. Since she was supporting her mother and sister, she figured $5 for going on a date was not the worst way to make some extra cash. On her first outing, she and her gentleman caller parked and kissed a bit before the full extent of her responsibilities dawned on her. As the New York Times puts it, she fled with her $5 and her virtue.
She wasn't afraid to ask for help: In her 32 years with the magazine, she openly admitted that her husband, David Brown, wrote all the cover lines.
She re-invented the power office: Her offices at Hearst famously sported pink silk walls, leopard-print carpet, and a cushion embroidered with the maxim "Good Girls Go to Heaven/Bad Girls Go Everywhere."
She was the anti-editrix editrix: Jane Pratt tells WWD of her former mentor, "When she would talk to you, she would curl up in her chair. Basically, she would purr like a cat."
She never underestimated the satisfaction of a smokin' hot bod: She was famous for saying that "One of the paramount reasons for staying attractive is so you can have somebody to go to bed with," and apparently she practiced what she preached. Elle EIC Robbie Myers recalled that at age 80, she once left a dinner early to work out.