Celebrities have paid tribute to Hugh Hefner, the businessman and founder of Playboy, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91.
Hefner published the first issue of Playboy magazine in 1953, creating a brand that would grow into the international multimedia company Playboy Enterprises, Inc. In a statement to PEOPLE, a representative for Hefner said that he passed away peacefully from natural causes, surrounded by family at home in the Playboy Mansion.
“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, his son and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises.
Messages of remembrance were promptly shared by celebrities and Playboy models alike in reaction to the news.
Read what TIME said about Hefner 50 years ago.