Hugh Hefner, Builder of the Playboy Empire, Dies at 91

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Hugh Hefner, Builder of the Playboy Empire, Dies at 91

Postby oldschool1 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:30 am


© Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy Hugh Hefner in 2014

Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant — all the while, as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s — died Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion near the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death, from natural causes, was announced by Playboy Enterprises Inc.

Hefner the man and Playboy the brand were inseparable. Both advertised themselves as emblems of the sexual revolution, an escape from American priggishness and wider social intolerance. Both were derided over the years — as vulgar, as adolescent, as exploitative, and finally as anachronistic. But Mr. Hefner was a stunning success from his emergence in the early 1950s. His timing was perfect.

The iconic founder of Playboy magazine died of natural causes at his home in the Playboy Mansion on Sept. 27, 2017. He was 91. Let's take a look at his illustrious life and career.

He was compared to Jay Gatsby, Citizen Kane and Walt Disney, but Mr. Hefner was his own production. He repeatedly likened his life to a romantic movie; it starred an ageless sophisticate in silk pajamas and smoking jacket, hosting a never-ending party for famous and fascinating people.

The first issue of Playboy was published in 1953, when Mr. Hefner was 27 years old, a new father married to, by his account, the first woman he had slept with.

He had only recently moved out of his parents’ house and left his job at Children’s Activities magazine. But in an editorial in Playboy’s inaugural issue, the young publisher purveyed another life:

“We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.”
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