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Helen Gurley Brown papers, 1938-2012 (Bulk: 1961-1990)
22.5 linear feet (47 containers)
Collection number: SSC.MS.00022

Helen Gurley Brown was editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, advertising copywriter, journalist, and author. The bulk of the material provides a comprehensive picture of Brown's intertwined personal and professional lives. Materials include speeches and scripts, writings, audiovisual material, and memorabilia, as well as records from Cosmopolitan. A large selection of photographs include images of celebrity friends. There is extensive correspondence from celebrities, publishers, fans, and others. Correspondents include Edward Koch, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Barbara Walters.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: new, unprocessed accessions and a small amount of correspondence are closed. Three pieces of correspondence with Liz Smith are closed to research until the year 2060 -- in SSC Closed Materials boxes.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that it owns copyright, Helen Gurley Brown's estate has retained copyright in her works donated to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Helen Gurley Brown, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Sophia Smith Collection

Biographical / Historical

Author and magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown was born in Green Forest, Arkansas on 18 February 1922 to Ira and Cleo (Sisco) Gurley, both schoolteachers. Though the family was poor, Cleo quit teaching to rear her two daughters. In Helen's early childhood, the Gurleys moved to Little Rock when Ira was elected to the state legislature. He was killed in an elevator accident when Helen was ten. Cleo struggled to support her children in depression-era Arkansas, first moving back with family in the Ozark region, and then taking Helen and her older sister Mary to Los Angeles in the late 1930s. In Los Angeles, Mary contracted polio, which strained the Gurley's already grim financial condition. Despite hardship, Helen excelled socially and academically. She was active in leadership positions in several high school clubs and graduated class valedictorian.

Helen Gurley spent a year at the Texas State College for Women and then returned to Los Angeles to put herself through Woodbury Business College. Cleo and Mary moved back to Arkansas but remained dependent on Helen's financial support, a situation which continued for the remainder of their lives. Helen graduated from Woodbury with a business degree in 1941 and took on a succession of secretarial jobs. The seventeenth job, at the advertising agency Foote, Cone, and Belding, was pivotal to Helen's future success.

Helen Gurley worked as executive secretary to Don Belding. During this time, she won a Glamour magazine contest for "Girls of Taste" that awarded her a vacation and a wardrobe. She had an active dating life, including a romance with prizefighter Jack Dempsey. Gurley's hard work captured the attention of her boss, and at the suggestion of his wife, Don Belding experimented, allowing Helen to write advertising copy. She succeeded at the task, and moved from secretarial work to copywriting. She wrote ads for several accounts, won prizes for her copy, and by the late 1950s had become the best-paid female copywriter on the West Coast.

In 1959, at the age of 37, Helen found a marriage partner in David Brown, a magazine and book editor who would become a film executive at the Twentieth Century Fox Studios, and later an independent producer. He was also an uncredited partner behind many of Helen's projects. After she found her advertising career stagnating at Foote, Cone, and Belding and then the Kenyon and Eckhardt Agency, it was David who encouraged her to write a book about her life as a single woman. The result, Sex and the Single Girl (1962), captured a zeitgeist of the early 1960s.

Bernard Geis Associates, a maverick publishing house, found great success with Brown's book, a guide to living single "in superlative style." It later published the wildly successful potboilers of Jacqueline Susann. Sex and the Single Girl, an advice manual that exhorted women to remain single and find fulfillment in an occupation and non-marital relationships with men, sparked national controversy and remained on the best-seller lists for months. Helen Gurley Brown made frequent personal, television, and radio appearances to promote the book. Rights to the title were sold to Warner Brothers at the highest price then ever paid for a non-fiction title. The film, Sex and the Single Girl (1964), starred Natalie Wood (as Helen Gurley Brown) and Tony Curtis.

Following the success of Sex and the Single Girl, David Brown and Bernard Geis Associates marketed Helen in a variety of enterprises. She wrote a syndicated newspaper advice column, recorded phonograph albums and radio spots, and wrote prodigiously. Her next book, Sex and the Office (1964), a racier advice manual and expose of a sex-filled world of secretaries, sold disappointingly in comparison to Sex and the Single Girl.

The Browns submitted proposals for a variety of works to keep up the momentum of Helen's popularity following Sex and the Single Girl: plays, television shows, other books, and magazines. Their proposal for a magazine for single women ("Femme") drew the interest of the Hearst magazine corporation. Though they did not want to start a new magazine for Brown, they made a trial agreement for her to try her format at their failing general interest magazine, Cosmopolitan. Brown officially became editor of Cosmopolitan in July 1965, and she brought dramatic changes to the first issue.

Brown converted the conservative Cosmopolitan to a female counterpart of Hugh Hefner's iconic Playboy magazine. She featured sexy cover models, controversial subject matter, and a hip sensibility that garnered a large audience quickly. While editing Cosmopolitan, Helen Gurley Brown authored The Single Girl's Cookbook (1969) and Sex and the New Single Girl (1971), continued to be a guest on many TV shows, and became one of Hearst's biggest success stories. Meanwhile, David Brown, along with partner Richard Zanuck, produced many successful films, including The Sting, Jaws, Cocoon, Deep Impact, and Chocolat.

In 1983 Helen wrote the best-seller Having it All, an advice manual and memoir in the style of Sex and the Single Girl. In the 1980s, she also had television stints as a regular on Good Morning America, a short-lived syndicated show A View from Cosmo, and was a guest on talk shows. She continued to edit the highly successful Cosmopolitan, which had by the 1980s grown to 300 pages, of which a hundred were highly lucrative advertisements. She oversaw expansion of the Cosmopolitan franchise into numerous international editions. In 1993 she wrote The Late Show, an advice manual and memoir about growing older. She published a writing guide, The Writer's Rules, in 1999, and in 2000 wrote her definitive memoir, I'm Wild Again.

Brown's career was often marked by controversy. Sex and the Single Girl, a celebration of independent womanhood published a year before Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, sparked much dispute about women's place in pre-women's movement popular culture. In a literary world that had only recently seen the lessening of stringent restrictions on the portrayal of sex, Brown's emphasis on sex drew much opposition from conservative critics. However, by the late 1960s, she and her vision of adamantly man-crazy womanhood drew opposition from non-conservatives as well. The incipient women's movement targeted Brown's limited vision of liberation. Feminists criticized the sex-object "Cosmo Girl" and envisioned a mass media that reflected a greater range of possibilities for women than the pink collar, man-obsessed vision of Cosmopolitan. Brown's idiosyncratic notions of liberation and sexual freedom raised controversy in later years as well. In the 1990s, her dismissal of sexual harassment as a significant workplace problem and her indifference to the risk of AIDS for heterosexual women drew great wrath again from feminists. Brown nonetheless identified herself and her magazine as unfailingly feminist. She worked on behalf of the National Abortion Rights Action League in support of abortion rights and supported other feminist organizations and causes.

While Brown was frequently the target of criticism, in the last years of her life she also accumulated accolades. Her work at Cosmopolitan was recognized through her election to the Publishing Hall of Fame and a Henry Johnson Fisher Award. She was declared a New York City landmark, being a familiar presence on New York City busses heading from her Central Park West apartment to the Cosmopolitan office. Her admirers and friends included gossip columnist Liz Smith, television journalist Barbara Walters, mogul Malcolm Forbes, and New York Mayor Ed Koch.

In 1997 Brown gave up her editorship of Cosmopolitan to become editor-in-chief of international editions of the magazine. Far from a retiree, she remained a workaholic in her new job, enjoyed travel with David, who continued to produce hit films until his death in 2010, and still voiced "outrageous" opinions that made her a frequent presence in newspapers and magazines. In early 2012 she established the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, donating $30 million dollars to collaborating institutions, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford School of Engineering. Helen Gurley Brown died in a Manhattan hospital on 13 August 2012.

Scope and Contents

Types of material in this collection include personal and professional correspondence, published and unpublished writings, personal records and memorabilia, printed materials, photographs, biographical materials, an audiotaped interview, videotapes, phonograph albums, scrapbooks, and posters.

Some material pertaining primarily to David Brown can be found in SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS and SERIES IV. WRITINGS. Since he collaborated with Helen on many of her projects, his work is interspersed throughout her papers. Helen Gurley Brown has been a pivotal figure in the magazine world in the second half of the twentieth century, and her papers give an insider's look into the Hearst organization, one of the most powerful media organizations of this century, and the publishing industry in general. The papers also address topics well beyond the world of magazines. Her work as an advertising copywriter at a time when women were not expected to work outside of the home certainly deserves consideration, and her call for "liberation" of the single woman was among the first. Brown's rags to riches career was unusual at a time when most women still did not work outside the home. Her experience of moving from pink-collar clerical worker to wealthy doyenne of the mass media was unique. She helped shape the popular culture of the 1960s and beyond. Sex and the Single Girl ushered in a spate of "Sex and the..." imitators but also launched a cultural dialogue on the question of the unmarried, sexually active, employed woman. The look of Cosmopolitan, which was conveyed on the signature covers photographed by Francesco Scavullo and the racy cover blurbs, defined young women's magazines for much of the second half of the twentieth century. As her career progressed, Brown associated with rich and influential people, who are well-represented in her collection. Additionally, the strong responses, both positive and negative, elicited by Brown's work give a sense of changing and conflicting public opinion on questions of sex, gender, and the media.

This collection is organized into six series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: new, unprocessed accessions and a small amount of correspondence are closed. Three pieces of correspondence with Liz Smith are closed to research until the year 2060 -- in SSC Closed Materials boxes.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that it owns copyright, Helen Gurley Brown's estate has retained copyright in her works donated to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Helen Gurley Brown, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Helen Gurley Brown papers, Sophia Smith Collection, SSC-MS-00022, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Additional Formats

Selections of audiotapes from this collection have been digitized and are available to view online (on Smith campus only).

History of the Collection

Helen Gurley Brown donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection beginning in 1972.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
1938-2000 1938-2000

This series includes material that documents Helen Gurley Brown's personal life and professional accomplishments. There are clippings, appointment books, travel itineraries, awards, and photographs. There is also a file of material from and about David Brown. The many Clippings give a comprehensive picture of the heavy press coverage Brown has received throughout her career. They stretch from her schoolgirl days in Little Rock to the present. The Education material primarily covers Brown's involvement later in life with her alma mater Woodbury College. This series contains miscellaneous Financial and legal material, including a 1946 income tax return; Awards; and a Videotape profile of Brown aired on CNN. The Memorabilia is especially engaging, containing writings and ephemera from her years in Little Rock and those pre-dating Sex and the Single Girl. The Papers contain a large selection of Photographs, some shot by celebrity photographers, and many with celebrity friends.


Box 1: folder 1



Print interviews of Brown: correspondence
1963-2000 undated

Box 1: folder 2
Books and papers
1991 undated

Box 1: folder 3
Family and early life, circa

Box 1: folder 4

Box 1: folder 5
Helen and David Brown

Box 1: folder 6
David Brown

Box 1: folder 7
Parties and charity events

Box 1: folder 8
Awards and tributes to Brown

Box 1: folder 9
Speeches and appearances

Box 1: folder 10
Apartment and office

Box 1: folder 11

Box 1: folder 12
General, continued

Box 2: folder 1
Photos of Brown, no text

Box 2: folder 2
Brown quotes within articles not about her, box quotes, etc.

Box 2: folder 3-4
Interviews and panels

Box 2: folder 5
Foreign language

Box 2: folder 6
Appointment and address books


Box 3: folder 1-4

Box 4: folder 1-2
Education (includes correspondence and printed material from Wayne Miller and Woodbury University)

Box 4: folder 3
Foote, Cone, and Belding job evaluation

Box 4: folder 4
Financial and legal materials


Box 4: folder 5
Statements, stubs, miscellany, tax return, and Sex and the Single Girl royalty statements
1946 1963-69 1980-85

Box 4: folder 6
Clothes: drawings, measurements, and expenditures
1966-71 undated

Box 4: folder 7
Travel itineraries, general
1966-69 undated

Box 4: folder 8






Box 4: folder 9
Publicity, invitations, and printed material

Box 4: folder 10-11
Cosmetic Executive Women's Achiever

Box 4: folder 12
USO Woman of the Year

Box 4: folder 13
Memorabilia: personal stationary, handmade cards, wedding invitation, and four leaf clover, circa
1938-39 1951-52 1959 1985 undated

Box 4: folder 14-15
David Brown: printed material, notes, and testimonial by Helen Brown
1966 1972 1979 1992 1995 undated

Box 5: folder 1



Brown alone, circa

Box 5: folder 2-3
Family (includes photos of Helen and David Brown, and mother and sister alone), circa

Box 5: folder 4

[For shots of Helen and David Brown with others, see Helen Brown in groups]

Helen Brown in groups, circa

Box 5: folder 5-9
Promotional shots of book covers and clippings

Box 5a: folder 1-2
Twenty-fifth anniversary party

Box 5a: folder 3
Henry Johnson Fisher Award

Box 5a: folder 4
Brown on Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Good Morning America, David Brenner
1967-early 1990s

Box 5a: folder 5
Not Helen or David Brown, circa
1950s-70s undated

Box 5a: folder 6
Unidentified, circa

Box 5a: folder 7
Videotape: Helen Gurley Brown: A Profile, CNN
2 Cassettes(2 copies)
Box 6: folder 1
1939 1950-2001 1939 1950-2001

Brown was always a prodigious correspondent. Her correspondence is organized into several subseries. The Individuals subseries is arranged alphabetically by name and includes friends, frequent correspondents, and correspondence more personal than businesslike. Accordingly correspondence can be found here that is related to her work at Cosmopolitan, her writings, speeches and appearances, or other topics located elsewhere in her papers. Correspondence with celebrities is filed in Individuals.

The next subseries is Thank you and congratulatory notes, mostly from her staff at Cosmopolitan magazine, but also from her household staff and employers at Hearst. This correspondence is mainly of a quotidian nature, but illustrates how Brown, by many accounts a demanding person, earned the respect of her staff and employers.

Public response and fan mail includes letters from readers of Brown's writings and viewers of her appearances. Some letters are simple requests for autographs, while others provide detailed and moving accounts of how Brown's plan for success helped these generally working-class women find degrees of fulfillment. The extent to which these women embraced Cosmopolitan's message is in sharp contrast to the criticism leveled at the magazine by many conservatives and feminists.

Correspondence by Subject includes letters generated by Brown's philanthropic work, critiques of magazines other than Cosmopolitan and other Hearst properties, letters from libraries and museums interested in Brown's work, love letters from the 1950s, and correspondence with friends from Little Rock. The bulk of the Subject correspondence involves Editor's perquisites/gifts. These letters reveal Brown's personal interest in clothes and cosmetics. Noted for her thrift, she often used her clout as an editor of a women's magazine to obtain these items wholesale. Manufacturers and designers, eager to have their products highlighted in Cosmopolitan, and others because they were friends, obliged. These letters give no indication that the products were intended for the pages of Cosmopolitan; such correspondence can be found in SERIES V. COSMOPOLITAN. As best as can be determined, the letters here pertain to gifts and perquisites that were for Brown's personal use.

General correspondence contains letters of a quotidian nature, regarding home repairs and so forth.

This series contains most of Brown's correspondence, but there is additional correspondence in other series. For example, correspondence generated by the planning and execution of speeches and appearances, with publishers and media figures interested in Helen's writings, and tied explicitly to her work at Cosmopolitan can be found in the relevant series. Correspondence connected to specific projects has been kept with the project whenever possible. An exception to this rule is celebrity correspondence, which has been filed in SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE-Individuals even though it may relate to a specific project. Determining whether or not correspondence should be categorized as professional or personal was one of the biggest challenges of this collection, since Brown's work and personal life were enmeshed. Many of the people with whom she maintained friendships were figures in the media. In general, the correspondence included in SERIES V. COSMOPOLITAN is explicitly related to the production of the magazine. Nonetheless, many of the correspondents in SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE are at least tangentially related to Cosmopolitan.


Alford, Mary Gurley

Box 6: folder 2
Brown, David: with Helen Brown and third party, includes John Dos Passos, Charles Bluhdorn, John Lindsay, Sammy Cahn, A.M. Rosenthal, Felix Rohatyn, Liz Smith, and Earl Wilson

Box 6: folder 3-4
Bryan, Cleo

Box 6: folder 5

A: Floyd Abrams; Michael Abrums; Bella Abzug; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Acker; Mona Ackerman; Cindy Adams;Charles Addams; Jerome Agel; Roger Ailes; Shana Alexander; Woody Allen; Bruce Altman; Carlos Amador; Totty Ames; Cleveland Amory; Judi Anderson; Paul Anderson; Julie Andrews; Walter Annenberg; Myra, John, and Malcolm Appleton; GigiArledge; Lucie Arnaz; Sharon Arnold; Dr. Bob Arnot; Bea Arthur; Joseph Assante; Sherrell Aston and Muffie Potter; Robert Atkins; and Louis Auchincloss

Box 6: folder 6
Ba-Be: Judy Bachrach; F. Lee Bailey; Glenda and Steve Bailey; Marilyn Cantor Baker; Russell Baker; Letitia Baldridge; Larry Baldwin and John Clerc Scott; Lucy Ball; Lawrence Barnett; Bruce Barone; Mary Ellen Berlin Barrett; Warren Beatty; Geoffrey Beene; Charlotte Beers; Don and Alice Belding; Tony Bennett; Polly Bergen; Irving Berlin; H. Jerome Berns; and Robert Bernstein

Box 6: folder 7
Bi-Bl: Jim Bickford; Bennett Bidwell; Elizabeth Jessup Bilheimer; Stephen and Alexandra Mayes Birnbaum; Joey Bishop; Joanne Black; Ruth Blackstone; Harry Blake; Leslie Blanchard; and Charles Bluhdorn

Box 6: folder 8
Bo-Bu: William Bolger; Erma Bombeck; Ray Bradbury; Patricia Salter Bradshaw; James Brady; Jacqueline Brandwynne; Bill Brangham; David Brenner; Marie Brenner; David Brinkley; Tom Brokaw; Bob Brown (love letters from 1940s) ; Ned Brown; Sam Brown; Tina Brown; Tony Brown; Robert Brownson; Robert Bruce; Karen Bruno; Art Buchwald; William F. Buckley, Jr.; Howard Buffett; Carol Burnett; Barbara Bush; and Red Buttons

Box 6: folder 9
Ca-Ci: Herb Caen; William and Grace Cahan; Sammy and Tita Cahn; Sue Cameron; Rosemary Campbell; Pat Carbine; Pamela Carmichael; Liz Carpenter; Johnny Carson; Amy Carter; Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter; Linda and Arthur Carter; Jill Cassidy; Ray Cave; Dick Cavett; Anne Chamberlain; Chris Chase; Eileen (Elizabeth) and Robert Chen; Henry Christensen, III; Herman Citron; Richard Civita; Roberto Civita; and Victor Civita

Box 7: folder 1
Cl-Cu: Jill Clayburgh,; Eleanor Clift; Hillary and Bill Clinton; Rosemary Clooney; Glenn Close; Richard Clurman; Alexander and Hilary Cohen; Bea Cohen; Claudia Cohen; Eugene Cohen; Sherry Suib Cohen; Lady Georgina Coleridge; Glenn Collins; Jackie Collins; Judy Collins; Nancy Collins; Pat Collins; Steve Conn; Heather Connolly; Shirley Conran; Barbara Cook; Joan Ganz Cooney; Amy Levin Cooper; Paul Cooper; Bill Cosby; Chris Costello; Jacqui Cotsen; Katie Couric; Warren Cowan; William Craig, III; Liz Crain; Joan Crawford; Walter and Betsy Cronkite; Delores Cunningham; Mary Cunningham; Ruth Curnutt; Charlotte Curtis; Tony Curtis; and Charlie and Christopher Cusack

Box 7: folder 2
Da-Di: Kitty D'Alessio; Maxine Daley; Kay Daly; Vic Damone; Faith Daniels; Mary Ann Danner; Leonard Dare; Saul David; John Davidson; Joanne Davis; Jill Davison; Richard Dawson; Fred De Cordova; Jean Deems; John DeGroot; Oscar de la Renta; Lois Ann Demko; Ronie Dente; Countess Ailene de Romanones; Peter Diamandis; Barbara Lee and Carl Diamonstein-Spielvogel; Joan Didion [Dunne]; Barry Diller; Phyllis Diller; and Edward DiPrete

Box 7: folder 3
Do-Dy: Robert Dolce; Elizabeth Dole; Phil Donahue; Sam Donaldson; Carrie Donovan; Michael Douglas; Maureen Dowd; Edward Reynolds Downe; Hugh Downs; Judi Ellin Drogin; Michael Drury; Peter Duchin; Robin Chandler (Mrs. Angier Biddle) Duke; Georgia Dullea; Faye Dunaway; Dominick Dunne; Clarissa and George Dyer; and Oscar Dystel

Box 7: folder 4
E: John Eastman; Merry Echo; Owen Edwards; Athenal Ehlert; Lawrence Eisenberg; Lee Eisenberg; Dwight Eisenhower; Julie Eisenhower; Susan Eisenhower; Linda Ellerbee [?]; Dick Ellescas; Inga Elliot; Linda Louise Berlin Emmet; Arthur Emil; Sandra Forsyth Enos; Nora Ephron; Ahmet Ertegun; Charles Evans; Joni Evans [see also SERIES IV. WRITINGS-Books-Having It All and The Late Show]; Peter Evans; Robert Evans; and Judith Exner

Box 7: folder 5
F: Ted Factor; Lady Mary Fairfax; Lisa Fallon; Musi Farner; Mia Farrow; Judy Feiffer; Michael Feinstein; Fred Feldmesser; Clay Felker; Lessie Ferguson; Sarah Ferguson; Temple Fielding; Freddie Fields; Naomi Findlay; William Fine; Pamela Fiori; Karen Fisher; Ron Fletcher; John Florida; Jane Fonda; Christopher (Kip) Forbes; Malcolm Forbes, Sr.; Malcolm (Steve) Forbes, Jr.; Robert Forbes; Timothy Forbes; Betty and Gerald Ford; Charlotte Ford; Gerry Ford; Reed Foster; Dale Miller Frehse; Betty Friedan; Steve Friedman; Thomas Friedman; Edna Leah Frosch; David and Carina Frost; Lewis Burke Frumkes; Bonnie Hurowitz Fuller; Allen Funt; and Betty Furness

Box 7: folder 6
Ga-Go: Marilyn Galanoy; Ernest Gann; Nancy Tuck Gardiner; William Donald Garson; Bruce Gelb; Phyllis George; Richard Gere; Freddie Gershon; J. Paul Getty; Charles Gibson; Kathie Lee Gifford; Genevieve Gilles; Marcia Ann Gillespie; Elga Gimbel; Rudolph Giuliani; Leslie Glass; Selma Goksel; Harry Golden; Ralph Golco; Leonard Goldenson; Barbara Goldsmith; Mark Goodson; Milton and Maura Gordon; Stephen Gordon; and Robert Gould

Box 7: folder 7
Gr-Gu: Katharine Graham; Cary Grant; Ernestine Gravely; Barry Gray; Adolph and Phyllis Green; George Green; Judy Green; Leslie Greenberg; Gael Greene; Vartan Gregorian; Richard Grenier; Joel and Jo Wilder Grey; Merv Griffin; Helen, Ann, and Steno Grimes; Henry Anatole and Louise Grunwald; Audrey Gruss; Lois and Lee Guber; Jacqueline Guber; Bob Guccione, Jr.; Kathy Keeton Guccione; Maria Guesk; C.Z. Guest; Bobby Guillory [?]; Bryant Gumbel; and Lynn Guzey

Box 7: folder 8
Ha-Hef: Adrienne Hall; Halston; Marvin Hamlisch; Armand Hammer; Alvin Hampel; Jane Hanson; William Harbach; Jean Harris; Barbara [Grizzuti] Harrison; Kitty Carlisle Hart ; Jan Hartley; David Hartman; David Hasselhoff; Goldie Hawn; Naura Hayden; Evangeline Hayes; Fred Hayman; Patty Hearst; Randolph, Catherine, and Veronique Hearst; Austine and William R. Hearst, Jr.; Pamela Hedley; Elaine Heffner; Richard Heffner; Christie Hefner; and Hugh Hefner

Box 7: folder 9
Hep-Hu: Katharine Hepburn; Lenore Hershey; Annemarie Herzog; Donald and Marilyn Hewitt; George Roy Hill; Sandy Hill; Gail and John Hilson; Mildred Hilson; Arthur Hirsch; Shere Hite; Bunny Hoest; James Hoge; Lou Honderich; Benjamin Hooks; Bunny (Mrs. Mickey) Hooten; Bob Hope; David Horner; Barbara Howar; Ron Howard; David and Helga Howie; Arianna Huffington; Robert Humphreys; Lawrence Hughes; and William Hunt

Box 8: folder 1
I-J: Lee Iacocca; Amy Irving; Molly Ivins; Jody Jacobs; Rona Jaffe; Morton and Linda Janklow; Jacob Javits; Peter Jennings; Ward and Julie Jenssen; Aleta Jessup; Ruth (Gerry) Jones; Erica Jong; Vernon Jordan; Irene Josephy; Raul Julia; and Ann and Arnold Jurdem

Box 8: folder 2
Ka-Kn: Helene Kalmanson; Norma Kamali; Harold Kaminsky; Beverly Kanes [?]; Bernice Kanner; Joanne Kaplan; Donna Karan; David Karp; Phyllis Kasha; Masako Katahira; Jeffrey Katzenberg; Elaine Kaufman; Julie Kaufman; Danny Kaye; Dena Kaye; Karen Kayser; Mimi Kazon; Diane Keaton; Bill Keavy; Sally Kellerman; Kitty Kelley; Leo Kelmenson; Edward Kennedy; Jeanne Kennedy; John Kennedy, Jr.; Walter and Jean Kerr; William Kerr; Herb Kerry; Alan King; Larry King; Philip and Jean Kingsley; Henry and Nancy Kissinger; Vera Klawitter; Calvin Klein; Ed Klein; Virginia Kleinrock; Georgette Klinger; Kathryn Klinger; John and Patricia Kluge; and John Knowles

Box 8: folder 3
Koch, Edward


Box 8: folder 4
Chinese statue correspondence

Box 8: folder 5
Koo-Ku: C. Everett Koop; Ted Koppel; Michael Korda [see also SERIES IV. WRITINGS-Books-Having It All]; Lester Korn; Lynne Kortenhaus; Jerzy Kosinski; Edward Kosner; Elizabeth Kramer; Judith and Steve Krantz; Henry and Carolyne Kravis; Robert Kreis; Florence Kriendler; Peter Kriendler; Joan Kron; Charla Krupp; and Helen Kushnick

Box 8: folder 6
La: Harriet La Barre; Alan Ladd, Jr.; Joey Lagani; Alan Lakein; Jack LaLanne; Louise Lammlen; Ann Landers; George Lang; Polly Langbort; Kelly Lange; Angela Lansbury; Sherry Lansing; Mary Louise Lau; Estee Lauder; Evelyn and Leonard Lauder; Ralph Lauren; Arthur Laurents; Jerome Lawrence; Mary Wells Lawrence; and Irving Lazar

Box 8: folder 7
Le-Li: Frances Lear; Norman Lear; John Ledes; Ernest and Jackie Lehman; Joe Lebworth; Warner Leroy; Bernard Leser; Jerry Levin [?]; Ray Levin; Ellen Levine; Ruth Levine; Suzanne Levine; Simone and William Levitt; Caroline and Alain Levy; Ed Lewis; Berna Linden; Carol Lindley; John Lindsay; and Brian Linehan

Box 8: folder 8
Lo-Ly: includes Kai-Yin Lo; Jo Loesser; Anita Loos; Shirley Lord; Mari Loshin; Dorothy Loudon; Iris Love; Clare Booth Luce; Mary Luke; Joan Lunden; Carol Lynley and Paul Pourchot; and William Lyons

Box 8: folder 9
Mac-Man: Blair MacArthur; Jean MacArthur; Austin Mace; Shirley MacLaine; Bill Maher; David and Hillie Mahoney; Norman and Norris Mailer; Lee Majors; Pyrrha Malouf; Louis Malle; Nathan Mandelbaum; and Bill Manville

Box 8: folder 10
Map-Me: Fred and Grace Mapstone; Jamsheed and Arnaz Marker; Judy Markey; James Marlas; Alice Mason; Kenneth Mason; Frank Massi; Robert Massie; Virginia Johnson Masters; Carol Matthews; Christopher Maurer; Herbert and Louise Mayes; Barry McCaffrey; Carole Holmes McCarthy; Ruth McCarthy; Sandra McCracken; Marian McDonald; Mary Byrn McDonnell; Cynthia McFadden; Ali McGraw; Phyllis Jean McGuire; Rod McKuen; Ed McMahon; Margaret Mead; Aileen Mehle; Sue Mengers; Lewis Meyer; and Chris Meyers

Box 8: folder 11
Mi-My: Pat Miller; Yvette Mimieux; Grace Mirabella; Mary Tyler Moore; Jessica Morris; Georgette and Robert Mosbacher; Pat Mosbacher; Daniel Moynihan; Martin Mull; Moira Mumma; Anna and Rupert Murdoch; Betty Tabb Hurst and Joseph Murry; and Bess Myerson

Box 9: folder 1
N: George Nagamatsu; Madeline Nagel; Theodore Nathan; Donald Newhouse; S.I. Newhouse; Paul Newman; Phyllis Newman; Edward and Judy Ney; Carl Nichols; Mike Nichols; Sharon Nichols; William Niebla; Richard and Pat Nixon; Deborah Norville; and Novella

Box 9: folder 2
O: Conan O'Brien; Katherine Claire O'Brien; Sandra Day O'Connor; Jacqueline Onassis; Ryan O'Neal; Grace O'Reilly; Norman Orentreich; Dee Osborne; Robert Osterman; John O'Toole; and Deniz and Vedat Oztarhan

Box 9: folder 3
P: Sarvenaz Pahlavi; Alan Pakula; Alexander Papamarkou; Hurley Papcock; George Pataki; Cynthia Patson; Jane Pauley; Barbara Pearlman; Greg and Veronique Peck; Jack Peninger; Mitzi Perdue; Ronald and Claudia Perelman; Anthony Perkins; H. Ross Perot; Bill Peters; Elizabeth Peters; Ray Petersen; Peter Peterson; Guy and Lucille Peyrelonge; Carol Pfeffer; J.J. Philbin; Regis and Joy Philbin; Ivo Pitanguy; George Plimpton; Letty Cottin Pogrebin [see also SERIES IV. WRITINGS-Books-Publisher and agent, 1960s- Bernard Geis Associates]; Beverly Poitier; Patrizia Pontremoli; Frank Price; Hal Prince; Leonard Probst; Emilio Pucci; St. Clair Pugh; and Mario Puzo

Box 9: folder 4
Ra-Re: Glady Rachmil; Al Rachoi; Lee Radziwill; John Raitt; Heather Randall; Tony Randall; Joe Raposo; Dan Rather; Sylvia Rayner; Nancy and Ronald Reagan; Helen Reddy; Robert Redford; Rob Reiner; Ann Reinking; Janet Reno; James Reston; David Reuben; Charles Revson; Martin, Eleanor, and Eugenia Revson; and John E. Reynolds

Box 9: folder 5
Ri-Roo: Abraham Ribicoff; Yvonne Rich; Dusty Rice; Michael Ritchie; Geraldo Rivera; Joan Rivers [Rosenberg ]; Mrs. Charles Robb; Cokie Roberts; Oral Roberts; Shelley Roberts; Jill Robinson; Blanchette Rockefeller; Nelson Rockefeller; Henry Rogers; Kenny Rogers; Peter Rogers; Willie Mae Rogers; Felix and Elizabeth Rohatyn; Betty Rollin; Jeanette (Thompson) Roman; and Andrew Rooney

Box 9: folder 6
Ros-Ru: Maxine Rose; Isadore Rosenfeld; Paul Rosenfield; Abe Rosenthal; Diana Ross; Eileen Quinn Ross; Herbert Ross; Steven Ross; Harriet Rosso; James Roth, Jr.; Roy Rowan; Teresa Rowton; Steve Rubell; and Ann Rubenstein

Box 9: folder 7
Sa: Catherine Sabino; Mualla Sabit; Morley and Jane Safer; William Safire; Harrison and Charlotte Salisbury; William and Virginia Salomon; Jean Salvadore; Alfreda Sanchez; Cristina Saralegui; Anna and Robert Sarnoff; Jerry Saviola; Diane Sawyer; and Leslie Sawyer

Box 9: folder 8
Sc-Sh: Arnold Scaasi; Francesco Scavullo; William Schallert; Dorothy Schiff; Irwin Schloss; Hilda Schneider; Joan Schnitzer; Ian Schrager; Pat Schroeder; Jonathan Schwartz; Stephen Schwarzman; Dennis Scioli; Joseph Scognamillo; Deb Scott; John Clerc Scott [see Larry Baldwin]; Bob Scribner; William Seawell; George Segal; Peggy Seigel; Katharine Seitz; Irene Mayer Selznick; Andrew Shahinian; Gene Shalit; Robert Shanks; Selma Shapiro; Laura Sharp; Veronica Sheehan; Gail Sheehy; Sidney Sheldon; and Dinah Shore

Box 9: folder 9
Si-Sk: Ann and Herbert Siegel; Stanley Siegel; Jack Siegrist; Pat Signorelli; Isobel Silden; Fred Sill; Beverly Sills [Greenough]; Fred Silverman; Ruth Simmons; Dawn Simon; Neil Simon; Norma Simon; Norton Simon; Frank Sinatra; Nancy Sinatra [Lambert]; and Florence Skelly

Box 9: folder 10
Sl-Smith, L: includes Barbara Jo Slate; Zora Sloan; Diana Smith; and Liz Smith [2 letters restricted until 2026 have been removed]

Box 10: folder 1
Smith, R-Sp: Richard Smith; Tommy Smothers; Richard Snyder; Tom Snyder; Kit Solde [?]; Paul Solomon; Stephen Sondheim; Shawn Southwick-King; A.J. Spectarsky; Halbert Speer; Cindy Spengler; and Steven Spielberg

Box 10: folder 2
St: Leslie Stahl; Francesca Stanfill; Ray Stark; Danielle Steel; Andrew and Lyn Stein; Jules Stein; Gloria Steinem; Sanford Stele; Virginia Dasso Stephens; Leonard Stern; Gary Stevens; George Stevens, Jr.; Martha Stewart; Faith Stewart-Gordon; Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara; Barbara Stone; Harry Stone; Noreen Stone; Betty Strauss; Helen Strauss; Meryl Streep; Barbra Streisand; David Strousse; Lee Strasberg; Kandy Stroud; Jan Struber; Bobbe Stultz; and Geraldine Stutz

Box 10: folder 3
Su-Sy: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger; David Susskind; H.N. (Swannie) Swanson; and Marilyn Symons

Box 10: folder 4
Ta-Th: Gay and Nan Talese; Linda Talley; Madelon Talley; McDonald Talley; Annette Tapert; Dawn Tarnofsky; Iareas Tavou; Elizabeth Taylor; Margaret Ternes; Patrick Terra; Joe Tex; Margaret Thalken; Theresa Thalken; Margaret Thatcher; Helen Thomas; Marlo Thomas; Edward Thompson; and Strom Thurmond

Box 10: folder 5
Ti-Tu: Grant Tinker; Preston Robert Tisch; Robert Tompkins; Bill Tonelli; Jack Tormey; Lyn Tornabene; Jean-Claude Tramont; Viviana Traverso; Marietta Tree; Dorothy Treloar; George Trescher; Carola Trier; Pauline Trigere; Morita Truman; Donald and Ivana Trump; and Ted Turner

Box 10: folder 6
U-V: Liv Ullman; John Updike; Dolores Urzo; Jack Valenti; Abby Van Buren; Pamela Van Zandt; Gloria Vanderbilt; Patricia Varga; Van Der Veer Varner; Monique van Vooren; Laurel and Pete Vasso; C. Speed and Charlotte Kelly Thompson Veal; Gretchen Verner; Joe Vetrano; Edward Vetter; Frances Vogler; Paul Volcker; Robert von der Lieth; Diane von Furstenberg; and Kurt Vonnegut, and Jill Krementz

Box 10: folder 7
Wa-We: Clint Wade; Jeanette and Paul Wagner; Phyllis Cerf Wagner; Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood; Herbert Walker; Lou Ann Walker; James Coy Wallace; Mike and Mary Wallace; Lew Wasserman; Wendy Wasserstein; Barbara Walters; Sandy Webster; William Weed; Nancy Weil; L. Arnold Weissberger; John Weitz; Raquel Welch; Kathryn Wellde; Linda Wells; Jessamyn West; and Ruth Westheimer

Box 10: folder 8
Wh-Wy: includes Donald Bruce White; Kate White; Michael White; Ruth Whitney; Elie Wiesel; Angela Wilkins; William Williams; Earl Wilson; Phyllis Starr Wilson; Oprah Winfrey; Charles Winston, Jr.; Alex Witchel; Annette Wolfe; Tom Wolfe; Joanne Woodward; Paul Wooland; and Elizabeth Wurtzel

Box 10: folder 9
Y-Z: includes Hunter Yager; Maury Yeston; Tessie and Tito Yulo; Darryl and Virginia Zanuck; Dean Zanuck; Harrison Zanuck; Richard (Dick), Linda, and Lili Zanuck; Robin Zanuck; Bobby Zarem; Merla Zellerbach; Paul Zifferen; Ezra and Cecile Zilkha; Dan Zucchi [?]; and Mort Zuckerman

Box 10: folder 10
Thank you and congratulatory notes
1968-2000 undated

Box 11: folder 1-5
Public response and fan mail


Box 12: folder 1-9
1988-2001 undated

Box 13: folder 1-6
1961-2000 undated

Box 13: folder 7-9

Early friends
1939 1973 1981 1997

Box 13: folder 10

[See also Individuals-Murray, Betty Tabb and Stephens, Virginia Dasso]

1865 1929 1981 1988-89

Box 13: folder 11
Gifts/editor's perquisites


Box 13: folder 12

Box 14: folder 1
Libraries and museums

1975 1989-2000

Box 14: folder 2
Sophia Smith Collection

Box 14: folder 3
Love letters and poem

Box 14: folder 4

[See also ndividuals-Bob Brown and Bill Peters]

Magazine critiques
1971 1979 1981 1987-89

Box 14: folder 5

General, (includes Kate Michelman of NARAL)

Box 14: folder 6

[see also Individuals-Duke, Robin Chandler]

Re: church van for Mary Alford from Hearst Foundation
1979-80 1989

Box 14: folder 7

Box 14: folder 8
1966-97 undated

Box 14: folder 9
(1962-2001) (1962-2001)

Material in this series pertains to Brown's presentations in person, or on television or radio. There are correspondence; speech texts; and notes from her personal appearances, including the text of a debate in which she participated at Oxford University. Her television and radio work generated scripts; schedules; and correspondence, including public response mail from an appearance on the news program Dateline. Pilot shows starring Brown, one in the 1960s called Outrageous Opinions and another in the 1980s called What Should I Do?, generated material as well. Television proposals that never came to fruition are filed in SERIES IV. WRITINGS. In the early 1960s, Brown recorded a radio show that was syndicated in Canada. This series contains the complete scripts of these recordings.

Television and speaking contracts

Box 15: folder 1
Speeches and personal appearances


[see also SERIES IV. WRITINGS-Book Tours and SERIES V. COSMOPOLITAN-Advertising and sales presentations]

1962-2001 undated

Box 15: folder 2-3
Programs and publicity
1962 1979 1984 1998

Box 15: folder 4
Texts, circa

Box 15: folder 5-8
Oxford debate: text, notes, and flyer

Box 15: folder 9
Television and radio appearances


[see also SERIES IV. WRITINGS-Television proposals and SERIES V. COSMOPOLITAN-Special features-A View from Cosmo]


1963-2001 undated

Box 16: folder 1-2
Response to Sep 1995 Dateline appearance
Sep 1995

Box 16: folder 3
General: scripts, transcripts, schedules, and notes, circa
1960s 1975-78 1985-88 1999 undated

Box 16: folder 4-5
Clippings and advertisements

1977-78 1982 1985

Box 16: folder 6
Re: television show Outrageous Opinions

Box 16: folder 7
Radio spots (syndicated in Canada): scripts


Box 16: folder 8-10

Box 17: folder 1-5

Box 18: folder 1-2
What Should I Do? television pilot: correspondence, scripts, and notes

Box 18: folder 3-4
(1940 1956-2000) (1940 1956-2000)

Besides editing Cosmopolitan, Helen Gurley Brown occupied herself primarily as a writer. Before she wrote the best-selling Sex and the Single Girl, she wrote ad copy, of which a small amount can be found here, and unpublished vignettes and poems. The emphasis on themes of sexuality and independent womanhood is greater in these early unpublished writings than her later published works.

Brown's collection boasts impressive documentation of her published writing efforts. It contains drafts; manuscripts; newspaper clippings; and published copies of Sex and the Single Girl, Sex and the Office, Outrageous Opinions, Having It All, The Late Show, and I'm Wild Again. Researchers interested in her first two books should consult correspondence (filed in this series) with her publisher Bernard Geis Associates, which includes letters from Bernard Geis and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and the Lucy Kroll Agency. This correspondence gives an excellent sense of the circumstances that surrounded Brown's sudden rise to fame and the successful efforts of Helen and David Brown to capitalize upon that fame. The correspondence also elucidates the changing world of the media and publishing in the 1960s as well as relatively new strategies of marketing controversial and sexually explicit material. Clippings record the public response to such efforts.

There are published and draft versions of Brown's magazine and newspaper articles in this series. Material related to a syndicated advice column for single women that ran between the time Sex and the Single Girl was published and the point at which Brown took over Cosmopolitan is of special interest. The series also contains the scripts and LP albums Brown recorded, one an album of advice, the other a recording of a speech. Short pieces that Brown wrote for other people's books and articles and her declines of such requests are found here.

The unpublished material reveals the breadth of Brown's ideas. Several proposals for unrealized television programs, plays, and articles concern themes that Brown repeated in her published work, but take a more radical approach to them. Fragments of an incomplete autobiography; an autobiographical theatrical piece, which includes an audio-taped interview; and fictional short stories and poems are included among the unpublished works.

The series also contains letters to the editor, notes, and some writings by David Brown.


Publisher and agent

Lucy Kroll Agency: correspondence
1962-64 1993

Box 19: folder 1-4
Bernard Geis Associates (includes Helen and David Brown, Bernard Geis, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and third party correspondence)

1961-68 1989-90

Box 19: folder 5-26
Royalty statements

Box 20: folder 1
Book tour itineraries and miscellany

Box 20: folder 2
Sex and the Single Girl (includes film version)

Correspondence: general and re: film rights and contract

Box 20: folder 3-4

[See also Bernard Geis Associates and Lucy Kroll Agency]

Draft fragment, manuscript, and book

Box 20: folder 5-9
Condensations and serializations

Box 21: folder 1


Box 21: folder 2
U.S. talks, programs

Box 21: folder 3
British tour: Telex reports and clippings

Box 21: folder 4
Clippings: general and reviews

Box 21: folder 5-7
Film: clippings and promotional material

Box 22: folder 1
Sex and the Office


Box 22

[See Bernard Geis Associates]

Drafts and fragments

Box 22: folder 2-6
Manuscript (includes original manuscript and rewrites with annotations)

Box 22: folder 7-9
Manuscript (continued)

Box 23: folder 1-8
Typesetting copy

Box 24: folder 1-5

Box 24: folder 6
Ads and promotion

Box 24: folder 7
Clippings: general and reviews

Box 24: folder 8-9


Outrageous Opinions


[See also Newspaper Columns - Woman Alone]

Helen Gurley Brown's Single Girl's Cookbook

General: notes, press release, and script

Box 25: folder 1
Manuscript fragment

Box 25: folder 2
Sex and the New Single Girl


Box 25: folder 3
Manuscript fragment

Box 25: folder 4

Box 25: folder 5
Excerpts and clippings

Box 25: folder 6
Having It All


Box 25: folder 7
Early drafts
1975 undated

Box 25: folder 8-9
Early drafts (continued)

Box 26: folder 1-7
Early drafts, manuscript, and book

Box 27: folder 1-4

Tour schedules

Box 28: folder 1
Publisher's publicity material and catalogs

Box 28: folder 2
Publicity packet

Box 28: folder 3
Best seller lists

Box 28: folder 4
Clippings about


Box 28: folder 5-6

Box 29: folder 1
Syndication and excerpts

Box 29: folder 2
Print ads

Box 29: folder 3
The Late Show


Box 29: folder 4

Sections not used, miscellaneous draft material, and first draft

Box 29: folder 5-9
First draft (continued)

Box 30: folder 1-2

Box 30: folder 3

Box 30: folder 4-8
General: tour schedule and notes

Box 31: folder 1
Writer's Rules, 1998: clipping and correspondence

Box 31: folder 2
I'm Wild Again, 2000: correspondence, photo proofs, draft fragment, and manuscript

Box 31: folder 3-8
General: proposals, correspondence, and promotional material, early
1960s 1984-86 1996 2000

Box 31: folder 9
Newspaper columns

Proposals: typescripts, drafts, and notes, early

Box 31: folder 10
"Woman Alone" (syndicated column)

Correspondence (includes financial material)

Box 31: folder 11
Typescripts and articles

Apr-Sep 1963

Box 31: folder 12
Sep 1963-Apr 1965

Box 32: folder 1-5
Miscellaneous typescripts and clippings of columns

Box 32: folder 6
Ads and clippings about

Box 32: folder 7
Outrageous Opinions (book compiled from column)

Box 32: folder 8
Phonograph albums

1962 1966

Box 33: folder 1
Correspondence (includes royalty statements)

Box 33: folder 2
Lessons in Love, 1962: script and cover text, typescripts, drafts, and notes

Box 33: folder 3-4
Helen Gurley Brown at Town Hall (script fragment?)

Box 33: folder 5
Lessons in Love, 1962, and Helen Gurley Brown at Town Hall, 1966: phonograph albums

Box 34
Advertising copy

Correspondence (commentary on other's ads)
1971-81 1991

Box 35: folder 1
Copy, 1959, early
1960s 1994 undated

Box 35: folder 2
Radio spots (syndicated in Canada)

Box 35





Proposals: correspondence and drafts
early 1960s

Box 35: folder 3-5
Sitcom script, early

Box 35: folder 6
Short pieces for other's works (forewords, contributions, school projects, quotes, blurbs, etc.): correspondence, writings, and publications including "Elizabeth Taylor's Passion," Somewhere Apart: My Favorite Place in Arkansas, and Teachers Make a Difference

Box 35: folder 7-9


[See also Plays-Helen]

Offers to do biography: correspondence
1980 1988-89 1996-2000

Box 35: folder 10
Autobiographical work, unpublished


Box 35: folder 11-18
"Memories of My Mother and Early Life in Arkansas"
ca.late 1990s

Box 35: folder 19
March-April 1953

Box 35: folder 20

Box 35: folder 21
Short stories and notes

Box 35: folder 22-23

Correspondence, re: ideas, early

Box 36: folder 1
Helen (biographical musical by Brown and Lyn Tornabene)


Box 36: folder 2-3
Magazine and newspaper (free-lance)

General (includes Lifeline proposal by Helen and David Brown, 1967, and Eye masthead, n.d.)

Box 36: folder 4
Articles, published and submitted: clippings, drafts, correspondence, and publications
1956-2000 undated

Box 36: folder 5-7
Neue Illustrierte articles: drafts and correspondence

Box 36: folder 8
TV Guide article, "How to Outfox New Breed of Macho Men": article and public response mail

Box 36: folder 9-10
Letters to the editor: clippings and correspondence
1977-80 1986-89 1996 undated

Box 36: folder 11
Poems, 1940, early 1960s

Box 36: folder 12
Fiction: short stories, notes, and fragments, circa 1940s-60 s?

Box 36: folder 13
Miscellaneous non-fiction pieces
1963 undated

Box 36: folder 14
Notes and journals [?], circa
1965-66 1974 undated

Box 36: folder 15
Miscellaneous projects (includes calendar and comic strip proposals)
1964 1977 2000

Box 36: folder 16
David Brown, early
1960s 1975 1980 1985 1987

Box 36: folder 17
Audio recordings


[These tapes have been digitized and are available to view online (Smith campus only)]

Series of taped interviews for "Helen" (biographical musical by Brown and Lyn Tornabene (9 tapes)

Box 36a
Speech: "Helen Gurley Brown at Town Hall,"
1966 (?)

Box 36a
1965-2000 1965-2000

Helen Gurley Brown's "child" for more than four decades was Cosmopolitan magazine. She changed a failing general interest magazine into a phenomenon-not only a best-selling magazine, but a cultural icon.

This series comprehensively traces Brown's Cosmopolitan career from its beginnings to her final job evaluating Cosmopolitan's international editions. Of special note is the proposal circulated by David and Helen Brown for a new magazine, "Femme," that would become Cosmopolitan's new format.

Throughout her tenure, a primary component of Brown's job was the courting of advertisers. Texts of the speeches and presentations she gave to advertisers and international editorial staff, as well as acceptance speeches for awards given to Cosmopolitan can be found in the subseries Advertising and publicity. This subseries includes advertisements for the magazine, including many written by Brown; promotional materials from the Hearst Corporation; and a large amount of newspaper clippings documenting coverage of Cosmopolitan in the press.

Correspondence (the years 1988-89 are especially well documented) illuminates the day-to-day operations of Brown's editorial work, as letters flowed between Brown and writers, Cosmopolitan staffers, advertisers, and Hearst executives regarding specific issues of the magazine as well as ongoing concerns. Frequent correspondents among the staff and Hearst executives are filed by individual. Researchers interested in the advertising content of the magazine may wish to consult the letters of Stan Perkins and Seth Hoyt.

The Editorial subseries provides an in-depth look at the magazine production process. Rules for writing and art format, which Brown enforced strictly, are compiled from the 1970s to the 90s. There are files of article ideas and editing memos, and a sample folder that represents the transformation of an article from its submitted state to the published version. Some notes on Brown's ideas for the magazine have been included, as is information on production and circulation. This subseries also contains the results of reader and staff surveys. Within the Editorial material is a section on special features. Material regarding the famous Burt Reynolds centerfold and other special issues of the magazine, such as anniversary issues and the last issue edited by Helen Gurley Brown, are filed here. Another special feature was the failed television pilot A View from Cosmo starring Brown. A "Best of" set of articles has Brown's favorite article among pieces from such regular Cosmopolitan writers as Erica Jong, Judith Krantz, and Gail Sheehy; a collection of some of Brown's long-running editorial, "Step into My Parlor;" and drafts and a copy of the only article Brown wrote for the magazine.

A small subseries concerns CosmopolitanEvents and includes material from a lunch given by Brown for other women's magazine editors to raise awareness for the National Abortion Rights Action League and a party thrown by the Hearst organization to celebrate Brown's twenty-fifth anniversary as Editor.

A set of Cosmopolitan magazines from 1953-79 is housed in the Sophia Smith Collection's Periodicals Collection.


"Femme": prospectus, drafts, notes, and proposal

Box 37: folder 1-2

Box 37: folder 3
Advertising and publicity

Advertising and sales presentations and award acceptances: speeches and notes (includes Henry Johnson Fisher award speech)
1973 1978-96 undated

Box 37: folder 4-9
Lunch schedules

Box 38: folder 1
New York Times advertisements: ads and copy (written by Brown)
1978-85 1988-94

Box 38: folder 2-3
Hearst promotional materials: general and press releases

Box 38: folder 4-6

1967-98 undated

Box 38: folder 7
Appointment as editor

Box 38: folder 8
Early success of magazine

Box 38: folder 9
Interviews with HGB re: Cosmopolitan
1965 1980 1985 undated

Box 38: folder 10
Circulation and ad campaigns
1970 1978-93

Box 38: folder 11
Events and appearances

Box 38: folder 12
1985 1990 1995

Box 38: folder 13
Specific covers and issues
1972-95 undated

Box 38: folder 14
Excerpts from Cosmopolitan articles

Box 38: folder 15
International editions

Box 38: folder 16
Brown retirement
1996 2000

Box 38: folder 17
Medill School of Journalism chair

Box 38: folder 18
Compiled by Hearst
1991 1996-98

Box 38: folder 19


Bahrenburg, D. Claeys (President of Hearst Magazines)

Box 39: folder 1
Bennack, Frank (President and Chief Executive of Hearst Magazines)
1976-98 undated

Box 39: folder 2
Berlin, Richard (President and Chief Executive of Hearst Magazines)

Box 39: folder 3
Black, Cathleen (Publisher of Hearst Magazines)
1999-2000 undated

Box 39: folder 4
Boisriveaud, Juliette (Editor of Cosmopolitan France)

Box 39: folder 5
Carter, John Mack (Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping and President of Hearst Magazines)

Box 39: folder 6
Deems, Richard (President of Hearst Magazines), (includes circulation figures)
1964-92 undated

Box 39: folder 7
DuPuy, Frank (Vice President and Publisher of Cosmopolitan)

Box 39: folder 8
Hoyt, Seth (West coast advertising agent)

Box 39: folder 9
McSharry, Diedre (Editor of Cosmopolitan U.K.)
1973-2000 undated

Box 39: folder 10
Mansfield, Terry (Managing Director of National Magazine Company Ltd. U.K.)
1988 1999

Box 39: folder 11
Maurer, Gil (President of Hearst Magazines) and Ann
1975-99 undated

Box 39: folder 12
Meade, Walter (Managing Editor of Cosmopolitan )
1974-96 undated

Box 39: folder 13
Miller, John (Executive Vice President of Hearst Corporation) and Bunny
1965-76 1982 1988-90 undated

Box 39: folder 14
Miller, Mark and Linda
1982 1988-89 1997

Box 39: folder 15
Perkins, Stan (West coast advertising agent)
1975-82 1988-89 1996

Box 39: folder 16
Porterfield, Lou (Vice President and Publisher of Cosmopolitan)
1978-89 1996

Box 39: folder 17
Letters from Roberta Ashley (Executive Editor of Cosmopolitan), re: quitting smoking

Box 39: folder 18


Box 39: folder 19-21

Box 40: folder 1-8
1995-2001 undated

Box 41: folder 1
Harvard Lampoon

Box 41: folder 2
Medill School of Journalism (Hearst endowed professorship in Brown's name) from faculty and students, includes press releases

Box 41: folder 3
Re: Brown's retirement

Box 41: folder 4-5

"Cosmo [format] explained"

General, 1965, late
1970s 1988-96 undated

Box 41: folder 6-7
Art and photography
1967-72 undated

Box 41: folder 8
Editing and writing
1967-71 1980 1994-96 undated

Box 41: folder 9
Article ideas, 1970s, mid
1980s undated

Box 41: folder 10
Article inventory

Box 41: folder 11
Editing process (shows article from first submission to final publication)

Box 41: folder 12
Editing memos (includes article ideas and manuscript)
1969-80 1988-89 undated

Box 42: folder 1-5

Box 42: folder 6
Production schedules
1985 1987 1997

Box 42: folder 7
Circulation and miscellaneous statistics
1968 1973 1986 1989-96 undated

Box 42: folder 8

[see also Correspondence: Richard Deems]

Surveys of readers and staff about magazine content (includes Brown's notes)
1987 1989 1992-93

Box 42: folder 9
Brown's notes, 1969-71, late 1990s, n.d.

Box 42: folder 10
Threatened lawsuit

Box 42: folder 11
Special issues/features

"Step into My Parlor,"
1965 1970-72 undated

Box 43: folder 1
"Getting It," (only Cosmopolitan article Brown wrote): drafts and published article

Box 43: folder 2
Centerfold issues: correspondence re: Burt Reynolds and issues of magazine (includes Reynolds and Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Box 43: folder 3-5

[see also Events-Twenty-Fifth Anniversary and SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS-Photographs for John Davidson]

"Power" article: correspondence, quotes, and lists

Box 43: folder 6-7

[see also SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE-Individuals]

Television shows

Correspondence, includes contract
1981-83 1988-91 1998

Box 43: folder 8
A View from Cosmo: interview notes, biographies, schedules, and overview with Brown's notes, circa

Box 43: folder 9
Twentieth anniversary

Box 43: folder 11
Elizabeth Taylor interview


Box 44: folder 1
Cassette tape

Box 44: folder 2

Box 44: folder 3
Article and drafts

Box 44: folder 4-5

Box 44: folder 6
Hunk poster, 1991-94 [?]

Box 44: folder 8
Last Brown issue: proposed Bill Clinton article correspondence, article ideas, plans, and final issue

Box 44: folder 9-10
Miscellaneous, 1971 [?], 1987

Box 44: folder 11
Clipped articles for proposed "best of" issues (includes Brown's favorite article)

Box 44: folder 12-13

NARAL lunch for editors of women's magazines: correspondence, lists of invitees/attendees, planning materials, research, and notes from presentation

Box 45: folder 1-3
Twenty-fifth anniversary party, Jun

Invitations, attendees lists, and programs

Box 45: folder 4

Attendees: includes James Marlas, Mark Goodson, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexandra Mayes Birnbaum, Mort Zuckerman, Art Buchwald, Joy Philbin, Erica Jong, Mort Janklow, Peter Jennings, Iris Love, Beverly Sills, Liz Smith, Tina Brown, Barbara Walters, John Mack Carter, and Irving Lazar

Box 45: folder 5
Declined: includes Bill Blass, Connie Chung, Barry Diller, Farrah Fawcett, Hume Cronyn, Angela Lansbury, John Kluge, Jane Fonda, Liza Minelli, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Goldie Hawn, Christie Brinkley, Julio Iglesias, Jimmy Carter, Gloria Vanderbilt, Mia Farrow, and Joan Lunden

Box 45: folder 6
Memorabilia and clippings

Box 45: folder 7-8
Visitors to office: correspondence, biographies, and lists
1973 1979 1988-94 undated

Box 45: folder 9
Early Cosmopolitans, 1887-1894, 1913, undated (incomplete)
1887-1894 1913 undated

Box 45: folder 10-12

Box 45: folder 13
1965-96 1965-96

These items have been culled from other series for preservation purposes. The series features large photographs and artwork of Brown; an honorary degree; birthday cards and tributes; writings; publicity from her books and Cosmopolitan; material from Cosmopolitan; and scrapbooks from Sex and the Office, a television show proposal, a Cosmopolitan speech, and her Cosmopolitan twenty-fifth anniversary party.

Awards and tributes (includes honorary LLD from Woodbury University, birthday cards, and gold record from staff)

Box 46
Interview (interview with Liz Smith)

Box 46
Photographs and artwork

Box 46
Writings (Neue Illustrierte, Sex and the Single Girl and Sex and the Office posters and advertisements, and Having It All publicity), circa
ca.1963-64 1982

Box 46

Publicity (includes New York Times advertisements with copy by Brown, Hearst publicity)
1978-85 1988-94

Box 46
Circulation statistics

Box 46
"Sample article" proofs

Box 46
Mock re-design

Box 46

Sex and the Office

Box 47
Portfolio promoting The Helen Gurley Brown Show, circa

Box 47
San Antonio speech

Box 47
Cosmopolitan 25th anniversary

Box 47
"Helen" clipboard

Box 47
Cosmopolitan publicity and tributes from staff
1985? 1989-90

Map case Flat File
Cosmopolitan "hunk" posters, circa

Map case Flat File
Charcoal drawing of Brown

Map case Flat File
Accession 2003-S-0012. "In Case of My Death" letter, personal and professional correspondence, Cosmopolitan
1973 1998-2002 2002-08
.25 linear feet(1 container)
Box 1
Processing information:

This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Accession 2004-S-0014. Correspondence, The Late Show: typescript
2001-2003 1993
.25 linear feet(1 container)
Box 1
Processing information:

This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Accession 2004-S-0027. Addition

Box 1
Processing information:

This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Richard Heffner correspondence

Box 1
Other correspondence

Box 1
Book: Dear Pussycat - correspondence used in book (photocopies)
2004 1966-1999

Box 1
Book: Dear Pussycat - typescript

Box 1
Accession 2004-S-0039. Addition

Processing information:

This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Correspondence to mother (Cleo Bryan) and sister (Mary Alford)
1930-1989 (bulk 1970-1989)

Box 1 Box 2
Correspondence to childhood friend, Elizabeth Jessup
1930-1949 1970-1999

Box 1 Box 2
Memorabilia - includes high school diploma, clippings

Box 1 Box 2
Book: Dear Pussycat: Mash Notes and Missives from the Desk of Cosmopolitan's Legendary Editor - Copies of correspondence not used in book
2004 1990-2009

Box 2
Book: Dear Pussycat: Mash Notes and Missives from the Desk of Cosmopolitan's Legendary Editor - published book

Box 2
Accession 2004-S-0061. Addition

Processing information:

This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Book: Dear Pussycat - typescripts, correspondence and notes

Box 1
Book: Dear Pussycat - published copy of book

Box 1
Accession 2008-S-0065. Faux leopard fur hat and scarf

Box 1
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This inventory was created at time of accessioning and may be incomplete.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Advertising--United States--History--20th century
  • Bennack, Frank A. (Frank Anthony), 1933- --Correspondence
  • Bernard Geis Associates (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brown, Helen Gurley
  • Celebrities--New York (State)--New York
  • Cosmopolitan (New York, N.Y.: 1952)--History
  • Hearst Corporation
  • Journalism--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Koch, Ed, 1924- --Correspondence
  • New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century--Sources
  • Periodicals--Publishing--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Pogrebin, Letty Cottin--Correspondence
  • Reynolds, Burt
  • Secretaries--United States--History--Sources
  • Sex in mass media--United States--History--20th century
  • Siegel, Herbert Jay, 1928- --Correspondence
  • Single women--Sexual behavior--History
  • Taylor, Elizabeth, 1932- --Correspondence
  • Walters, Barbara, 1931- --Correspondence
  • Women editors--United States
  • Women executives--United States
  • Women in advertising--United States--History- 20th century
  • Women in mass media--United States--History--20th century
  • Women in the professions--United States--History--20th century
  • Women--Life skills guides

Genre terms
  • Audiotapes
  • Phonograph records
  • Radio scripts
  • Speeches
  • Typescripts
  • Videotapes
  • Writings
  • clippings
  • correspondence
  • photographs
  • scrapbooks

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