When Helen Gurley Brown published the book Sex and the Single Girl in 1962, it was still rare to see married couples on television sharing a bed, and the birth control pill had just hit the market. She was, in short, a total scandal. She transformed the image of single women from chaste spinsters into independent, ambitious—in the office and the bedroom—ladies. For 32 years, she served as Cosmopolitan magazine’s editor-in-chief, transforming it from a bland general interest magazine into a sex-positive bible for the modern woman. She died in 2012. In honor of what would have been her 94th birthday on February 18, here are nine priceless quotes from the feminist pioneer’s interviews and books.

1. ON MARRIAGE

"I think marriage is insurance for the worst years of your life. During your best years you don’t need a husband. You do need a man of course every step of the way, and they are often cheaper emotionally and a lot more fun by the dozen."

— From Sex and the Single Girl

2. ON HAVING ROOMMATES

“Roommates are for sorority girls. You need to have an apartment alone even if it’s over a garage.”

— From Sex and the Single Girl

3. ON WRITING A GOOD LETTER

“I don’t believe in complaining too much in writing … better to be angry on the phone or in person than to have people wince and hate you when they open an envelope.” 

—From the introduction to her 2004 book of letters, Dear Pussycat: Mash Notes and Missives from the Desk of Cosmopolitan's Legendary Editor

4. ON FASHION

 "If you're not having fun with clothes, I think you're missing something." 

From a 1996 interview with The Washington Post

5. ON BEING INDEPENDENT

“The happiness one wants never seems to be through the people closest to us, it must somehow be through ourselves … and this is true of people with the dreamiest, lovingest husbands … can they ever really do it for you?”

— From a 1967 letter to a friend published in Dear Pussycat: Mash Notes and Missives from the Desk of Cosmopolitan's Legendary Editor

6. ON HAVING A CAREER

“A job gives a single woman something to be.”

— From Sex and the Single Girl

7. ON SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION 

"I feel being a sex object is so divine and so wonderful that there is nothing better; that you can be a sex object and you can also be the president of General Motors ... I think men are sex objects. And it certainly doesn't slow you down—that women desire you sexually."

— From a 1974 interview with 60 Minutes

8. ON FEMINISM AND THE COSMO GIRL

“The girl I’m editing for wants to be known for herself. If that’s not a feminist message, I don’t know what is.”

— From an interview on her 20th anniversary as Cosmopolitan's editor

9. ON SUCCESS

“I think the only way you can become an enormous success is by not doing anything false to your character, anything that doesn’t ‘feel right.’”

— From I'm Wild Again: Snippets from My Life and a Few Brazen Thoughts