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Helen Gurley Brown

  • ... you want to write a book for so many reasons ... The main reason ... is because it will make you well-known and beloved and popular and successful and famous and respected. You also write ... to make money, but that motivation is not first on the list.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Roy Newquist, Conversations ()
  • If you're a little mouseburger, come with me. I was a mouseburger and I will help you. You're so much more wonderful than you think. Cosmopolitan is shot full of this stuff although outsiders don't realize it. It is, in its way, an inspiration magazine.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Nora Ephron, Wallflower at the Orgy ()
  • That cat is in love with me, but to say that it's 'mutual' doesn't begin to describe anything. I'm totally irrational about her. She and I are a scandal.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Judy Fireman, ed., Cat Catalog: The Ultimate Cat Book ()
  • Don't do small stuff early in your energy cycle or you'll blow your 'golden hours,' but occasionally you have to do the 'possible' to develop the momentum for the killer task.

  • I think you keep two sets of books. In one set, you record the truth — how well you are really doing. This is the secret set — just for you and loved ones. In the other set are more modest entries and statements, and these are for public consumption!

  • ... some bosses are so greedy (for themselves only) they forget underlings are not thirteenth-century peasants who can be satisfied with a glass of mead and three festivals a year.

  • We are told to value ourselves without feedback, but if nobody is making a pass at you or trying to take you to Bermuda, how are you supposed to feel? Confident?

  • Never throw anything good away — real wool, pure silk. Put it away and wait for it to come back.

  • If I had to choose between sex and food, I would choose food, but I'd choose sex over nearly everything else.

  • Never expect anybody — except possibly your analyst — to be as thrilled about your sex life as you are.

  • The only reason a man doesn't call is that he doesn't want to.

  • There is no better way to get to know someone than to have an affair ... it can save years of lunches.

  • Trying to describe a good marriage is like trying to describe your adrenal glands. You know they're in there functioning but you don't really understand how they work.

  • Feed the alligators and you get bigger alligators.

  • Charm is the next best asset after looks and brains — and can almost make up for looks.

  • Talkers expand like bread dough.

  • Whether in private conversation or in a group — if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody!

  • Good posture is the one most important thing anybody can do now to look better.

  • Sex is important. Sex is one of the three best things we have — I don't even know what the other two are. It connects you with life.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Modern Maturity ()
  • Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Modern Maturity ()
  • The prerequisite for making love is to like someone enormously.

    • Helen Gurley Brown
  • Love doesn't just drop on you unexpectedly; you have to give off signals, sort of like an amateur radio operator.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Cosmopolitan ()
  • Workaholism is different from other ‘isms.’ Don’t let people badmouth it to you!

    • Helen Gurley Brown
  • If you aren’t ‘overbooked’ or ‘overcommitted,’ there’s a very good chance you aren’t getting half enough out of life or out of you.

    • Helen Gurley Brown
  • Love your office and your office mates. Just don’t try to have office love make up for the other kinds, or expect it to survive separation.

    • Helen Gurley Brown
  • Marry a nice man. Since life is out there handing you so many horrors, how can you cope if the biggest horror of them all is him?

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in People ()
  • I am a feminist. Cosmo predated the women's movement, and I have always said my message is for the woman who loves men but who doesn't want to live through them.

    • Helen Gurley Brown,
    • in Glenn Collins, "At 60, Helen Gurley Brown Talks About Life and Love," The New York Times ()

Helen Gurley Brown, U.S. magazine editor, writer

(1922 - 2012)