Helen Gurley Brown, longtime Cosmopolitan editor, dies at 90

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Helen Gurley Brown, the self-described “mouseburger” who in the 1960s inspired women she said were like herself — average looks, brains and talent — to go out and get what they wanted out of life, including good sex whether they were married or not, has died. She was 90.

Brown, who went on to become the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died Monday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, according to an announcement from Hearst Corp. The cause was not given.

In 1962, Brown, a copywriter for a Los Angeles ad agency, wrote a book about the single life that she had recently left behind at what was then considered the over-the-hill age of 37.

Her “Sex and the Single Girl,” a frank and exuberant mix of advice, exhortation and naughty girl talk, was a publishing phenomenon that broke ground by suggesting that the single woman not only had a sex life but was “the newest glamour girl of our times.”

Many serious feminists have viewed Brown as a lightweight whose gushy writing style covered over a dual message that women were at once independent and yet should do everything they could to get a man.

But others, such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess and Gloria Jacobs, writing in “Re-Making Love: The Feminization of Sex” (1986), consider Brown the “first spokeswoman for the (feminist) revolution.”

Von Freeman, Chicago jazz legend, dead at 88

CHICAGO — Revered around the world but never a major star, worshipped by critics and connoisseurs but perpetually strapped for cash, the towering Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman practically went out of his way to avoid commercial success.

When trumpeter Miles Davis phoned Freeman, in the 1950s, looking for a replacement for John Coltrane, Freeman never returned the call.

When various bandleaders — from Davis to Billy Eckstine to King Kolax — tried to take him on the road, where his talents could be heard coast to coast, Freeman regularly turned them down.

His refusal to leave Chicago during most of his career, except for the briefest out-of-town engagements, cost him incalculable fame and fortune but also enabled him to create some of the most distinctive, innovative work ever played or recorded on a tenor saxophone.

And his devotion to the city where he was born, 88 years ago, made him a Chicago jazz icon honored with major tributes in Symphony Center, Millennium and Grant Parks, as well as standing-room-only crowds for his weekly gig at a remote bar on East 75th Street, the New Apartment Lounge.

Earlier this year, he became one of the few Chicago-based musicians ever to receive a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, regarded as the nation’s highest jazz honor.

Artist Kinkade’s girlfriend holds his mansion hostage

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Thomas Kinkade’s stately mansion has become a brutal battleground over his fortune between his widow and girlfriend who still lives there.

Security guards have been stationed inside the gates day and night to make sure the girlfriend, Amy Pinto, doesn’t steal anything.

Pinto — who dated Kinkade for 18 months before he died in April of alcoholism — has refused to move out, ignored invoices to pay $12,500 a month in rent and is “holding hostage this residence,” Daniel Casas, a lawyer for Nanette Kinkade, said after a court hearing Monday in San Jose about the dispute that is tarnishing Kinkade’s legacy as the “Painter of Light.”

Judge Thomas Cain on Monday set a Sept. 17 court date to give Pinto time to “consider her options” of whether to stay or go and suggested that she “make sure everything stays where it is until the outcome of these proceedings.”

Even though she hasn’t worked since she began dating Kinkade, Pinto apparently has resources to pay rent on the house valued at some $7 million.

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