This spring and summer marks the release of two biographies on former Cosmopolitan editor and author of Sex and the Single Girl Helen Gurley Brown. They are not the first biographies written about Brown—Jennifer Scanlon received that distinction when she published Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown, the Woman Behind Cosmopolitan Magazine in 2010—but they are the first to be published following Brown’s death. in 2012.
As such, these two new books add a great deal of new information to the story of a fascinating figure people have already said (much to her pleasure) plenty about. That information, however, didn’t come easily: Brown’s estate, as documented by Katie Rosman at The New York Times last year, is managed by executives at Hearst, Cosmopolitan’s publisher, which has held tightly to her already complex image, unwilling to add more fuel to the fire now that Brown’s not around to stoke it herself.