Anyone who has ever snuck a peek at a Playboy magazine found in the woods or under their dad’s side of the mattress should be observing a moment of silence today. Although I have a feeling Hugh Hefner would be flattered if your moment involved 5-to-10 minutes alone with one of his magazines.
Playboy released a statement last night confirming that its founder Hugh Hefner died at the age of 91 in Los Angeles.
“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.”
Hef almost died this time last year, but he stuck it out another year. It’s not specified what Hef’s cause of death is.
Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago, IL and started his publishing career in the early 1950s at Esquire. After saving $8000, he quit to start Playboy. In 1953, the first issue was released featuring a naked Marilyn Monroe (he reportedly owns the crypt next to hers in the Westwood Village Cemetery).
Hugh Hefner was more than just naked airbrushed tittys, depending on how you felt about him. He was a decades-long legend in the world of semi-tasteful printed porn. Or he was a problematic old perv who exploited the hopes and dreams of young women hoping to get famous. But it can’t be denied that he fought hard for the stuff he believed in, like sexual freedom, LGBT rights, and birth control. He’s also one of the reasons why the Hollywood sign is still around.
Playboy didn’t only launch the careers of Pamela Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith, it launched the careers of a whole bunch of now-famous authors. It also spawned several Playboy clubs, and a television channel. The Playboy mansion was recently sold, and Playboy magazine continues to this day (although it no longer has titties).
Hugh Hefner leaves behind his third wife Crystal Harris, and four children. Some of Hef’s former girlfriends, the Girls Next Door girls, have responded to the news of his passing. Kendra Wilkinson released a statement, saying:
“Hef changed my life. He made me the person I am today. I couldn’t be more thankful for our friendship and our time together. I will miss him so much but he will be in my heart forever.”
While Bridget Marquardt tweeted a tribute (meanwhile, Holly Madison hasn’t said anything yet).
— Bridget Marquardt (@Bridget) September 28, 2017