Évelyne Prouvost, the founder of the modern incarnation of Marie Claire, has died at age 78.
The cause of death was a bicycle accident on the French island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer off the coast of Brittany, according to a report in French newspaper Le Parisien. Hearst, publisher of Marie Claire, called Prouvost’s death “sudden and unexpected.”
“This is a profound loss. Madame Prouvost was a force, an icon and a role model for us all. She exuded integrity, insisted on excellence and always asked surprising questions. She had great personal warmth and charm, and I am proud to have called her a mentor,” said Anne Fulenwider, editor in chief of Marie Claire USA. “When I think about the spirit of Marie Claire, I will always hear her voice.”
Although Marie Claire was first launched in 1937 by Provoust’s grandfather, the French businessman, politician and media mogul Jean Prouvost, its brief run ended during World War II. After starting the French version of Cosmopolitan in 1973, Prouvost brought Marie Claire back in 1976 and started the Marie Claire Group, which included 12 titles.
“Évelyne loved magazines, had an insatiable curiosity about culture, and was committed to journalistic excellence. She was a giant of the publishing world and a great champion of women, and the media landscape will not be the same without her,” Fulenwider wrote in an obituary on Marie Claire’s web site.