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Top Execs Who Started at the Bottom

Occupation: Former Editor-in-Chief of CosmopolitanMailroom: William Morris AgencyBrown, long-time editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan hasn’t always lived in the stylish lap of luxury.After working as a clerk, Brown was a secretary at the Foote, Cone & Belding advertising agency. Brown’s boss recognized her gifted writing skills and made her a copywriter, where she became one of the nation's highest paid ad copywriters in the early 1960s.Brown wrote the bestseller “Sex and the Single Girl” and became

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Helen Gurley Brown

Occupation: Former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan
Mailroom: William Morris Agency

Brown, long-time editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan hasn’t always lived in the stylish lap of luxury.

After working as a clerk, Brown was a secretary at the Foote, Cone & Belding advertising agency. Brown’s boss recognized her gifted writing skills and made her a copywriter, where she became one of the nation's highest paid ad copywriters in the early 1960s.

Brown wrote the bestseller “Sex and the Single Girl” and became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan in 1965, where she reversed the failing magazine’s fortunes.

In September, 2008, Slate named her the 13th most powerful American over the age of 80.

Photo Background: John Lamparski | Getty Images