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August 25, 2015

Foundation Figures in Fight Over Helen Gurley Brown's Legacy

The New York Times explores connections between Helen Gurley Brown's foundation and controversies over control of the late Cosmopolitan publisher's legacy and her valuable Manhattan apartment.

The article details the handling of Ms. Brown's philanthropy and other posthumous affairs by Eve Burton. An executive at the Hearst Corporation, which owns Cosmopolitan, she became close to Ms. Brown in the decade before the latter's death in August 2012 and is co-executor of her will. Ms. Burton established the Pussycat Foundation, through which Ms. Brown became an active donor late in life.

Ms. Burton has opened up the apartment in the Beresford building on Central Park West for meetings with children participating in Pussycat-funded literacy and education programs. She has sought to have ownership retained by Ms. Brown's trust, spurring conflict with the building's co-op board over rules that an estate without an immediate family member as heir — Ms. Brown had no children — must be put on the market. Area brokers say the unit could fetch $50 million or more.