Patt Morrison for August 13, 2012

Author, editor, and provocateur Helen Gurley Brown dies

Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 1: Helen Gurley Brown arrives for the 2004 ACE Awards on November 1, 2004 at Cipriani 42nd street, in New York City.

Long before the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, there was the definitively flesh-and-blood Helen Gurley Brown, author of "Sex and the Single Girl" and editor of Cosmopolitan for over three decades. Gurley Brown died in Manhattan Monday, August 13, 2012, at the age of 90. The writer and editor shocked 1960s America by writing that not only did single women think about sex, they acted on those thoughts and enjoyed their actions. Lauded for forcing mid-twentieth-century America to think of women as sexual actors and reviled for upholding other stereotypes (such as the need for a slim figure), Gurley Brown's legacy continues to thrive.

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