Helen Gurley Brown, RIP


Helen Gurley Brown, who taught “mouseburgers” how to become “Cosmo girls,” has died.

She was the original Carrie Bradshaw, a lady intent on telling the single gal how to get everything out of life–including lots of meaningful sex with desirable men.

(Well, people just didn’t talk about same-sex stuff back then.)

I interviewed Helen for Vanity Fair in the ’80s and she was delightful, smart, and charming.

What’s more, she said hello every time after that, and was always available for a laugh or some insight.

I also wrote for her magazine and used to love the setup:

You’d go into the Managing Editor’s office and come upon a mass of file cabinets you were asked to look through.

You’d pull out the file cabinet drawers, one at a time, and look through the hundreds of index cards, which had a multiplicity of story ideas typed on them.

Ideas about culture, entertainment, society, and mores.

You’d find one that appealed to you, and voila–that was your assignment.

It seemed like a bizarre system, but like the Cosmo girl herself, it was efficient and totally worked.

Bye, Helen.

You put on quite a Gurley show.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 13, 2012

Archive Highlights