It was at the helm of Cosmopolitan, which she transformed from being an often straitlaced publication aimed at suburban housewives into one that built a global readership based on Brown and her colleagues' idealised image of the sexually liberated, career-focused "Cosmo girl".
New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg called her "a pioneer who reshaped not only the entire media industry but the the nation's culture. She was a role model for the millions of women whose private thoughts, wonders and dreams she addressed so brilliantly in print."
Helen Gurley Brown died childless.
UPDATE - Amazingly bitchy/revelatory obit in the Telegraph :
"Helen Gurley Brown never wanted children on the ground that they would be "horrible little competitors" for the admiration of others. "
""My message is, there is no let-up, ever." Her editors were given strict injunctions that there should be "no glums, no dour feminist anger and no motherhood". "
For Helen Gurley Brown, it was not possible to be too thin: "Skinny is sacred; anybody plunking down a plate of fried zucchini would be trying to poison me." Growing old she regarded as "the most disgusting thing in the world" - something it was every woman's duty to fight, almost literally to the death.
After losing her virginity aged 20, she remained sexually active, but resolved never to get hitched up with "a gas station attendant or somebody who boxed the groceries because he was sexy", setting her sights on higher things.
She worked a 12-hour day and boasted that she had never taken a day off "except for cosmetic surgery".