A Woman to Know: Helen Gurley Brown

The only thing that separates successful people from the ones who aren't is the willingness to work very, very hard. — Helen

(Image by Getty)
This newsletter was very hard to write because Helen Gurley Brown is endless quotable. You could even call her The Most Quotable — "You can't hope yourself to a better life"; "Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork can"; and, of course, "Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere." She's kind of the ultimate you-go-girl precursor, right? Precursor to so many things: from to Jezebel's snark to Lena Dunham's everything.

Helen is best known for her 32-year run as Cosmo's executive editor (the anecdotes surrounding her time there are numerous, legendary, and all-too-hilarious — delve deeper into Jennifer Scanlon's Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown for more). Despite her focus on gender politics, sexual liberation and more within the magazine's pages, Helen got a bad rap later in life for her simultaneous obsession with diet plans, daily weigh-ins and "how to please your man." But as Judith Thurman wrote of her years later, "Feminist come in every bra size."

But even before all that, Helen (in 1962! 1962! **1962!**) had written Sex and the Single Girl, her seminal tome for baby feminists everywhere. A quick flip-through ("Chapter 1: Woman Alone? Oh, Come Now!") endears Helen to all budding Carrie Bradshaws forever. How can you resist her wit? Even decades later, it hasn't lost its bite.

Add to your reading list:

Read more:

Watch more:

*~Send your recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition.~* You can browse the archive here.