Pat Ryan, the first woman editor at publishing giant Time Inc., has died at the age of 75.

Ryan passed away from cancer on 28 December (13) in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

She began her career as a secretary at Sports Illustrated magazine before moving on to become the managing editor of People, where she was awarded the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

She also worked at Life magazine from 1987 to 1989.

Former Time news director and People senior editor Howard Chua-Eoan, says, “She was a trailblazer and wonderfully kind."

Ryan is also known for creating the annual People's Sexiest Man Alive issue, which began with Mel Gibson in 1985.