THE ULTIMATE PLAY BOY HAS PASSED AWAY …
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine has died at the age of 91. Hefner reportedly peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones. What an interesting life. People today forget just how big the Playboy brand was at one time and how revolutionary it truly was. It was more than just centerfolds of beautiful women. Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Hugh Hefner introduced the world to Playboy magazine in 1953 and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history. One of my favorite lines from Hef was, “many people buy the magazine for the articles, but its the centerfolds they remember.” Wait, I thought we read it for the cartoons? Whether you agreed or not with the material that Hugh Hefner published or his life style, he was truly an original, an icon and a trend setter. Some times you have to push the envelop and refuse to drawn between the lines. That was Hugh Hefner, Rest in Peace.
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine and star of E! reality show The Girls Next Door, has died, PEOPLE confirms. He was 91.
Born Hugh Marston Hefner on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Grace Caroline and Glenn Lucius Hefner, the businessman died on Wednesday.
“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” a rep for the Playboy Enterprises founder said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The magazine became known for its articles as well as the beautiful women that graced its pages, with Hefner asking some of the world’s greatest and most progress literary figures to write for him including, Hunter S. Thompson, John Updike, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut.
Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner, the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolized by bow-tied women in bunny costumes, has died at age 91.
Starting from his kitchen table 64 years ago, Mr. Hefner’s uncompromising vision drove the creation of not just the iconic and groundbreaking magazine, but what has become one of the world’s most enduring and recognizable brands. In the process, Playboy became the largest-selling and most influential men’s magazine in the world, spawning a number of successful global businesses. To this day, the magazine is published in more than 20 countries around the world and products featuring the company’s trademarks drive more than $1 billion in sales annually.
“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. 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,” said Cooper Hefner, Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises.
From the very start, Playboy was about more than just the beautiful women featured in its pages. Mr. Hefner took a progressive approach not only to sexuality and humor, but also to literature, politics and culture. Within its pages, Playboy published fiction by such writers as Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, John Updike, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut.
The now standard-setting “Playboy Interview” debuted in 1962 when frequent contributor Alex Haley interviewed jazz legend Miles Davis. Mr. Haley’s Playboy interviews, which are still important reads for cultural historians, also included Malcolm X (1963), Martin Luther King (1965), and perhaps most famously, George Lincoln Rockwell (1966), the founder of the American Nazi Party.
As the host of a television series, “Playboy’s Penthouse,” Mr. Hefner paved the way as the first televised program to feature mixed groups of African American and white performers and audience members together. He also fought against the racist Jim Crow laws in the South by integrating Playboy Clubs in Miami and New Orleans.