Always Sexy, Sometimes Surly: Helen Gurley Brown's New Biography

Posted by Laura Haddad on

HGB, as she was known in the industry, was the long-time editor of Cosmopolitan, which she transformed into the most widely-read women's magazine in the world during her decades-long tenure.

A new biography by veteran writer Gerri Hirshey covers the media maven's troubled childhood, beginning in rural Arkansas, and charts her rise from an advertising agency secretarial pool in Los Angeles (Brown's classic Sex and the Single Girl inspired Mad Men's creator) to the top of New York's publishing industry. Much discussion of Brown's work centers on her role in feminism.

Was her man-trapping advice counter-feminist, or merely a reflection of the needs and attitudes of single working women?

A New York Times profile of the book and its subject dives deeper: NYTIMES.COM

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