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Frances Lear, founder of the now-defunct Lear's and a former Advertising Age Editor of the Year, died Sept. 30 at her home in New York of breast cancer. She was 73.

Ms. Lear, the former wife of TV producer Norman Lear, used a divorce settlement estimated at more than $100 million to launch the monthly that she named after herself-billed as the magazine "for the woman who wasn't born yesterday"-in 1988.

Lear's tapped a unique niche and was an early success, leading Advertising Age to name Ms. Lear its Editor of the Year in 1989. Its circulation eventually topped 500,000, but the title struggled with editorial positioning, staff turnover and a weak ad market before folding in 1994

Ms. Lear, a women's rights advocate, later founded Lear TV, a producer of videos aimed at women.

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