Playboy magazine Hugh Hefner founder dies

Playboy confirmed the news in a press release, saying Hefner died in his home at the Playboy Mansion of natural causes on Wednesday.

Hugh in his haydaysHugh Hefner who became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and ’70s has died. He was 91.

Hefner began publishing Playboy in his kitchen in 1953. It became the largest-selling men’s magazine in the world, shifting seven million copies a month.

Cooper Hefner, his son, said he would be “greatly missed by many”.

He paid tribute to his father’s “exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer,” and called him an advocate for free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights, and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie, and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.”

Hefner’s trailblazing magazine helped make nudity more acceptable in mainstream publications, despite emerging at a time when US states could legally ban contraceptives.

It also made him a multi-millionaire, spawning a business empire that included casinos and nightclubs.

The first edition featured a set of nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe originally shot for a 1949 calendar that Hefner had bought for $200.

Hefner became famous for his hedonism, dating and marrying Playboy models, and throwing decadent parties at the luxurious Playboy mansion in Los Angeles.

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