Hugh Hefner: A Look Inside the Wild Life of Playboy's Founder

Sep 28, 2017

Hugh Hefner, founder of the iconic Playboy men’s magazine, died of natural causes Wednesday inside his famous Playboy Mansion home in Los Angeles, according to Playboy Enterprises. He was 91.

The magazine mogul made a name for himself six decades ago when he published the first issue of Playboy, which had pages of photos of naked women, including Marilyn Monroe. Hefner shattered the taboos surrounding sex and nudity at the time, his son, Cooper Hefner, Playboy’s chief creative officer, said in a statement.

Hugh Hefner And The Playboy Playmates 1966Hugh Hefner pictured surrounded by 50 Bunnies on June 27, 1966.  Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images 
Hugh Hefner RetrospectiveHugh Hefner at Playboy Mansion. M/K/Camera Press/Redux 
Playboy Publisher Hugh Hefner Observing PhotographsHugh Hefner views photographs in his Chicago office. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images 

"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,” the younger Hefner said in a statement.

46th Academy AwardsHugh Hefner with Playmate Barbi Benton arrives to the 46th Academy Awards at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Michael Montfort—Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images 
Hugh Hefner Boss of the Playboy Empire arrives with an entourage of Bunny Girls at London Heathrow Airport, Saturday 25tHugh Hefner arrives with an entourage of Bunny Girls at London Heathrow Airport, June 25, 1966.  Sunday People/Mirrorpix/Getty Images 
Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder at his mansion in 1966.Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder at his mansion in 1966.  Burt Glinn—Magnum Photos 

Before he rose to fame in the 1950s, Hugh Hefner had served in the U.S. Army and worked in the magazine publishing industry, Playboy Enterprises said. The Chicago-born trailblazer first started circulating Playboy in December 1953 with money he borrowed from family and friends and with furniture he put up as collateral for a loan, the company said.

In 2009, Hefner told TIME he “dramatically” changed the notion of sex in America. That was one of his proudest accomplishments, he told the New York Times in 1992. “That gives me great satisfaction,” he said.

The Palms Casino Celebrates Playboy's 50th Anniversary With A Private Reception At The Ghost BarHugh Hefner during The Palms Casino Celebrates Playboy's 50th Anniversary With Private Reception At Ghost Bar at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Denise Truscello—WireImage/Getty Images 
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