FRANCES LEAR: A Maturing Woman Unleashed

FRANCES LEAR, publisher with a messianic commitment to women over 40, has broken the wrinkle barrier by reaching for a neglected market

Flawlessly attired in a black Chanel suit, Frances Lear gazes for a moment out her office window at the Madison Avenue traffic below. Then, whippet-like, she whirls to confront the semicircle of editors at her morning story conference. "What's the word we want?" she asks. Through owlish goggles she scrutinizes their faces, as if seeing them for the first time. Before anyone can answer, she darts to her chair and provocatively settles her slender black-stockinged legs on a cluttered coffee table. She sits stiffly, ladylike. Her expressive hands, with their buffed, not polished nails, beat the air. "Older women of our...

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