Helen Marie Gurley was born in Green Forest, Arkansas on February 18, 1922. She studied briefly at Texas State College for Women, but did have the money to continue. She graduated from secretarial school in 1941. She held numerous secretarial jobs before becoming an advertising copywriter. In 1959 she married David Brown, a former managing editor of Cosmopolitan and a Hollywood producer. Her first book, Sex and the Single Girl, was published in 1962 and inspired a movie of the same title starring Natalie Wood, which was released in 1964. She was the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965 until 1997 and is credited with being the first to introduce frank discussions of sex into magazines for women. Her other books include Sex and the Office, Helen Gurley Brown's Single Girl's Cookbook, Sex and the New Single Girl, Having It All, I'm Wild Again, and The Late Show. She died on August 13, 2012 at the age of 90.