Beloved agony aunt Sally Brampton has died after being seen ‘walking into the sea’ in the early hours of Tuesday the 10th of May. The 60-year-old had always been candid about her long battle with depression and her memoir Shoot the Damn Dog was hailed for being a brave and honest account of living with the illness, helping break down the stigma that depression couldn’t afflict charismatic and successful people like her.
Brampton may be best known to the public for her role as an agony aunt, but that is only a small part of her incredible career and lifelong contribution to publishing. Born in Brunei and raised in Kent she went on to study fashion at Central St Martins College in London. She began her career writing for Vogue and in 1985 was tasked with launching British Elle. With her as editor the magazine became hugely influential in setting trends and championing healthier bodies for models. Those who knew her then described her as a visionary and larger-than-life personality, with a quick wit and trademark style of messy blonde crop with hoop earrings.
She left Elle after five years and moved to the south coast to work full time as writer. In 2006 she began her Aunt Sally column for The Sunday Times, offering frank and unflinching advice. Her devotion to her column was such that she would always try and respond to as many letters as possible and when the feature was scrapped in 2014 she was furious on behalf of her readers.
Her last ever column was published in The Daily Mail on Monday and she is survived her daughter Molly.
To read the magazine that Sally made great, grab a subscription to Elle
Images: Twitter @SallyBrampton