Monday, August 13, 2012


Helen Gurley Brown, the brilliant and ground-breaking COSMO editor and author died today. She was 90. That's an age-appropriate death, but I still hate the fact that she's gone. I hardly remember where we met, but she was a hero of mine. She was a smart, single woman who was a pioneer in making women realize they could be a force. Some people criticized that COSMO made women submissive to men, or that it encouraged them to be scheming sex goddesses. Nonsense! She was a smart businesswoman who saw a niche and turned it into a huge business.

When I wrote my first novel and received the galleys, I took them to her in her NY office and asked her to read the book. She said, "I'm not promising we'll excerpt them in COSMO." I said, "I don't care. Just the fact that you are reading my book before anyone else means the world to me." She read it, really liked it, and didn't run it in COSMO. I didn't care.

Helen in her later years

Helen at her height when we met
When the galleys for my second book were sent to me, I flew to NY and went to her office again. "I just want you to read it. It's our ritual." I said. "To me, it's like giving my pages to the Queen." The next night, Marlo Thomas and Dominick Dunne gave a book party for me at Elaine's. I was already out of my mind that I was even HAVING a book party at Elaine's, and about 15 minutes after it started, in walked Helen Gurley Brown, alone, beaming at me like the protegee I always hoped to be. I will never forget that moment. God Bless You, Helen Gurley Brown.

1 comment:

Nebris said...

And what's wrong with being a 'scheming sex goddess'? =)