Sally Brampton, journalist and writer, dies aged 60

Sally Brampton Image copyright Grant Triplow/REX/Shutterstock
Image caption Sally Brampton launched women's magazine Elle in the UK in the 1980s

Sally Brampton, the founding editor of Elle magazine in the UK and newspaper columnist, has died at the age of 60.

Brampton, who had spoken of her struggle with depression, began her career at Vogue before launching Elle.

The circumstances of her death are unclear but it is thought she walked into the sea at St Leonards in East Sussex on Tuesday afternoon.

Police said a woman was pulled ashore at Galley Hill, Bexhill. They said there were no suspicious circumstances.

'Kickass boss'

Brampton studied fashion at Central Saint Martin's College of Art & Design before starting at Vogue. She became fashion editor at The Observer and was then headhunted to launch women's lifestyle magazine Elle in the UK at the age of 30 in the 1980s.

She later had a weekly agony aunt column in the Sunday Times Style magazine from 2006 until 2014.

In 2008 she gave a personal account of her efforts to overcome depression in her book "Shoot the Damn Dog".

Elle magazine's current editor-in-chief Lorraine Candy described Brampton as a "kickass boss" who "nurtured new talent with the same enthusiasm as she nurtured her family and friends".

Writing on the magazine's website, she said: "The magazine she created in 1985 was unlike anything else on the newsstands at the time.

"It was a breath of fresh air, mixing high street with high end, having a brave and sometimes contrary opinion, questioning the norm and championing new thinkers.

"She made it colourful and joyous, which was exactly how she imagined the Elle reader and how she appeared herself to everyone who worked with her."

'Shared her darkness'

Gill Sinclair, from the website Victoria Health, paid tribute to her "beautiful friend Sally" who "walked into the sea yesterday afternoon and didn't come back" in an email sent to subscribers.

She wrote: "Sally's battle with depression is well documented; she shared her darkness in order to give light and she fought fiercely to try and obliterate the stigma of mental health and together we must uphold her mission."

'An absolute inspiration'

Image copyright Ophelia Wynne

Sally was an uncompromising agony aunt - her tough love sometimes uncomfortable to read, but at the same time absolutely thrilling. What made it so powerful was the position of authority and wisdom it came from. Sally was quick to share her own experiences, draw on her own hard fought battles and use the aching traumas of her own life story to help heal others.

Her big lesson to readers was that you cannot change other people - you can only change your reaction to them. That puts all the power back in your hands. So whether it is an abusive mother, a lover suffering from addiction or a difficult teen, she gave us the ability to overcome our pain.

She always was, and will remain, an absolute inspiration. And for me personally, a treasured mentor. Thank you Sally.

Tiffanie Darke, editor of the Sunday Times Style magazine from 2002-2014

Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore tweeted: "An editor every writer wanted to please because she wanted the best and wrote the best herself. Very sad."

Author Jojo Moyes tweeted: "Immensely sad about Sally Brampton, kind, talented & great editor."

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