Playboy Magazine Founder Hugh Hefner Dies at 91
Hugh Hefner, the founder of the world famous adult magazine Playboy, has passed away. He was 91.
Playboy Enterprises Inc. confirmed that Hefner died from natural causes. The company’s official Twitter account said that he passed away peacefully at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles and was surrounded by friends and family.
— Playboy (@Playboy) September 28, 2017
Bloomberg reported that Hefner wished to be buried in a crypt he bought in Los Angeles, which is beside the grave of bombshell Marilyn Monroe.
It was the nude pictures of the blonde beauty that gave Playboy magazine a kick start to fame and success with its first edition in 1953 as it then became the largest-selling men’s magazine in the world. The nude photos were shot for a 1949 calendar and Hefner was able to buy it for $200 during that time.
Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, said that his father would be “greatly missed by many”.
According to BBC News, Hefner’s son gave tribute to his father’s “exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer.” Cooper even said his father was an advocate for free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.
Playboy magazine not only made nudity respectable in mainstream publications during the time when the United States could legally ban contraceptives, it also made Hefner a multi-millionaire, having a business empire consisting of nightclubs and casinos.
During an interview with CNN in 2002 as quoted on BBC, Hefner said: “I’ve never thought of Playboy quite frankly as a sex magazine. I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.”
A direct descendant of a Puritan who came to America aboard the English ship called the Mayflower, the Playboy founder was able to break how people traditionally look into sex during the 1950s and 1960s through the centrefolds of his magazine that featured women that are almost naked and articles about gender relations.
“He was perhaps the greatest counter to the Puritan ethic we’ve ever seen,” professor of communications at the University of Houston, Garth Jowett, said in a 2003 interview in the Houston Chronicle, which was quoted by Bloomberg. “One of the greatest social forces in the 20th century in the United States was Playboy magazine.”
Image Credit: BBC