Helen Gurley Brown, 2001 (Getty Images / WireImage / Jim Spellman)
Helen Gurley Brown was editor-in-chief of the influential magazine Cosmopolitan for 32 years (or about 384 issues). Under her watchful eye, Cosmo guided its readers through the sexual revolution, fashion trends and changing social mores with humor and refreshing honesty. Gurley Brown was also the author in 1962 of the groundbreaking book Sex and the Single Girl, a book of advice for women in finding financial, emotional and sexual freedom before or in place of marriage. The book was a bestseller, cementing Gurley Brown's legacy as part of the women's liberation movement. We remember Helen Gurley Brown's remarkable life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died on this day in history.
2013: Tompall Glaser, U.S. country music artist who formed the group Tompall & the Glaser Brothers with his brothers Chuck and Jim, who charted many times on the Hot Country charts, dies after a long illness at 79.
2012: Helen Gurley Brown, U.S. editor and author who wrote the popular book Sex and the Single Girl and was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years, dies at 90.
By turns celebrated and castigated, Brown was for decades a highly visible, though barely visible, public presence, according to her obituary by The New York Times. A tiny, fragile-looking woman who favored big jewelry, fishnet stockings and minidresses until she was well into her 80s, she was a regular guest at society soirees and appeared often on television. At 5 feet 4, she remained a wraithlike 100 pounds throughout her adult life. That weight, she often said, was 5 pounds above her ideal. Read more
2010: Edwin Newman, U.S. journalist known for his reporting on NBC News and the Today Show, dies at 91.
Newman did political reporting, foreign reporting, anchoring of news specials, Meet the Press, Today, The Nightly News, midday news and a variety of radio spots. He announced the death of President Kennedy on radio and analyzed the Vietnam War. He also narrated and helped write documentaries, back when they were an influential staple of network programming, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. They included Who Shall Live? – a 1965 study of the difficulties of deciding which kidney disease should receive lifesaving dialysis – and Politics: The Outer Fringe, a 1966 look at extremism. Read more
2009: Allen Shellenberger, U.S. musician who was the drummer for the alternative rock band Lit, dies of cancer at 39.
2007: Phil Rizzuto, U.S. Hall of Fame shortstop for the New York Yankees who won seven World Series championships and later became a popular announcer for the Yankees, with his trademark expression "Holy Cow!" to describe an exciting play, dies at 89.
At 5 feet 6, Rizzuto was a flashy player who could always be counted on for a perfect bunt, a nice slide or a diving catch in a lineup better known for its cornerstone sluggers, noted his obituary by The Associated Press. He played 13 seasons alongside the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle in a career interrupted by Navy service in World War II. "Phil was a gem, one of the greatest people I ever knew – a dear friend and great teammate," said Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who frequently visited Rizzuto in his later years. Read more
2006: Tony Jay, English actor and voice actor who appeared in The Golden Girls and Star Trek: The Next Generation and provided the voice for Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, dies at 73.
2004: Julia Child, U.S. chef, author and television personality known for bringing French cooking to the American public through her books and TV shows, dies at 91.
For 10 years her kitchen served as the setting for The French Chef, broadcast on 96 public television stations. Child exposed a generation of American housewives to the world of fine eating, as well as the rigors and joys of preparing food as an art form. And she did it with her characteristic combination of droll wit, do-it-yourself empowerment and willingness to sometimes look foolish. Read more
2003: Ed Townsend, U.S. singer-songwriter who had his own hit song in 1958 with "For Your Love" and co-wrote "Let's Get It On" with Marvin Gaye, dies at 74.
1995: Mickey Mantle, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder for the New York Yankees who was a 16-time All-Star and won seven World Series championships, dies at 63.
1991: Jack Ryan, U.S. designer for Mattel whose designs included the Barbie doll, Hot Wheels and Chatty Cathy, dies at 64.
1989: Tim Richmond, U.S. NASCAR driver who won 13 races during his career, dies of AIDS at 34.
1986: Helen Mack, U.S. actress who was most popular in the 1930s and had prominent roles in The Son of Kong and His Girl Friday, dies of cancer at 72.
1985: Marion Martin, U.S. actress whose movie appearances included the Marx Brothers movie The Big Store, dies at 76.
1982: Joe E. Ross, U.S. actor who starred in the television series The Phil Silvers Show and Car 54, Where Are You?, dies of a heart attack at 68.
1982: Joe Tex, U.S. singer and musician who gained success in the 1960s and '70s with his brand of Southern soul music, including the hit song "Hold What You've Got," dies of a heart attack at 47.
1971: King Curtis, U.S. saxophonist who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is known best for his session work with the Coasters on their hit song "Yakety Yak" and also worked with Aretha Franklin and John Lennon, dies of stab wounds at 37.
1967: Jane Darwell, U.S. actress who won an Academy Award for her performance as Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, dies at 87.
1946: H.G. Wells, English author most well-known for his science fiction novels including The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, dies at 79.
1910: Florence Nightingale, English social reformer and nurse who is considered the founder of modern nursing, dies at 90.