Cosmo editor donates $30 million to Columbia, Stanford

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2012 5:28 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Longtime Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown is donating $30 million to Columbia University and Stanford University to establish a media institute in honor of her late husband, the schools announced on Monday.

The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation will encourage new media, promote innovation and prototypes and "recognize the increasingly important connection between journalism and technology," the schools said in a joint statement.

David Brown, who died early last year, graduated from Stanford and the Columbia School of Journalism. He was a Hollywood producer whose hits included "The Sting," "Cocoon" and "Driving Miss Daisy."

Each school will receive $12 million for the new institute. The gift to Columbia's Journalism School in New York, the largest in its history, will endow a professorship that will serve as the institute's east coast director.

The gift to Stanford's Engineering School in Palo Alto, California will endow the position of the west coast director.

Another $6 million will go to Columbia for construction of a "highly visible signature space" that will feature a state-of-the-art high-tech newsroom, the schools said.

"Great content needs useable technology," Helen Gurley Brown said in a statement. "Sharing a language is where the magic happens."

Brown, 89, was editor from 1965 to 1996 at Cosmopolitan, a lively, sometimes racy, magazine aimed largely at single women during her tenure. She also has written several books, including the groundbreaking and popular "Sex and the Single Girl" in 1962.

(Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Paul Thomasch)