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Born July 28, 1916 in New York, future producer David Brown was educated at Stanford University and the Columbia School of Journalism.

In the 1950s, he served as managing editor of Cosmopolitan where he met his future wife and Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown (who wrote the book Sex and the Single Girl). Brown became an executive for Darryl Zanuck and later a partner with his son Richard. They produced such films as Jaws, Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy. Simultaneously, he wrote many of Cosmo's coverlines. Things like "Get serious about your orgams."

From the March 12, 2002 New York Times:

David Brown takes his coffee black and his Scotch on the rocks, at least at lunchtime. At dinner, he adds a dash of Pernod to his cocktail and lets his wife of 42 years, the former Cosmopolitan editor in chief, Helen Gurley Brown, sip it while he orders another. The alcohol is a fitting closure to the long workdays that Mr. Brown still puts in at his Midtown Manhattan office, where he burrows for the next blockbuster to produce either on screen or on the stage.

Nighttime is different. Mr. Brown says that when he is falling asleep, he listens to Joe Franklin's songs of the 20's on WOR-AM and contemplates. "I think about all the people who are no longer here," he said. "During the waking day, I think about the future." He takes that future in small chunks. "You can't really indulge credibly in long-range planning, you just go from day to day and year to year, astonished that you are still alive."

Still, Mr. Brown is not ready to stop working, even when circumstances suggest he may be pushing it. He recalled one moment of doubt: it is 4:30 a.m., dark and cold, and he is on location in France for the filming of "Chocolat." The questions start. "I wonder what the hell I'm doing there. And my conclusion is, who would have lunch with me if I weren't doing this sort of thing?"