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Hugh Hefner Dead – The Life & Times Of Playboy Founder

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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men’s magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, died on Wednesday at the age of 91, Playboy Enterprises said.

Born in 1926 in Chicago, Hefner served in the US Army in the mid-1940s. He graduated with a degree in psychology and worked as a copywriter for men’s magazine Esquire before borrowing $8,000 to start Playboy in 1953.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner lived a colourful life surrounded by women and extravagant parties in his fancy mansions.

For decades, Hefner was known as the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire. Playboy says Hefner died of natural causes at his home.

Hugh Hefner

LOS ANGELES – JUNE 18: Hugh Hefner poses with Kendra Wilkinson (L) Bridget Marquardt and Holly Madison (R) before a screening of Bonnie and Clyde at the Playboy Mansion June 18, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

 

Hefner, once called the “prophet of pop hedonism” by Time magazine, peacefully passed away at his home, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.

Hugh Hefner (center) poses on the red carpet with girlfriends

Hefner was sometimes characterized as an oversexed Peter Pan as he kept a harem of young blondes that numbered as many as seven at his legendary Playboy Mansion. This was chronicled in “The Girls Next Door,” a TV reality show that aired from 2005 through 2010. He said that thanks to the impotency-fighting drug Viagra he continued exercising his libido into his 80s.

In 2012, aged 86, Hefner married his third wife Crystal Harris – who was 60 years his junior.

The 'Playboy' founder poses for photos with his friends

Hefner began publishing Playboy in his kitchen in 1953. It became the largest-selling men’s magazine in the world, shifting seven million copies a month at its peak.

Donald Trump carrying a Playboy magazine with himself on the cover at a campaign event in 2016
Though critics saw Playboy as a byword for sleaze, its founder – who was born into a strict Methodist family – never shared that view.

Recent estimates suggest the businessman had an estimated net worth of about $50 million at the time of his death.

As the founder of Playboy magazine, which would eventually become the most successful men’s magazine in the world, it’s no surprise that Hugh Hefner accumulated a large sum of money over the course of his accomplished life. Recent estimates suggest the businessman had an estimated net worth of about $50 million at the time of his death.

“I‘m never going to grow up,” Hefner said in a CNN interview when he was 82. “Staying young is what it is all about for me. Holding on to the boy and long ago I decided that age really didn’t matter and as long as the ladies … feel the same way, that’s fine with me.”

Hefner settled down somewhat in 2012 at age 86 when he took Crystal Harris, who was 60 years younger, as his third wife.

He said his swinging lifestyle might have been a reaction to growing up in a repressed family where affection was rarely exhibited. His so-called stunted childhood led to a multi-million-dollar enterprise that centered on naked women but also espoused Hefner’s “Playboy philosophy” based on romance, style and the casting off of mainstream mores.

 

He Had A modest Upbringing

 

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner came from humble beginnings. Born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, he was the first child of Grace Caroline and Glenn Hefner, who were both teachers and strict Protestants from Nebraska. In a 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hefner said, “My folks were raised, pure prohibitionist. They were very good people, with high moral standards — but very repressed. There was no hugging and kissing in my home.”

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That philosophy came to life at the legendary parties in his mansions – first in his native Chicago, then in Los Angeles’ exclusive Holmby Hills neighbourhood – where legions of male celebrities swarmed to mingle with beautiful young women.

Playboy founder

 

Long before the Internet made nudity ubiquitous, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner faced obscenity charges in 1963 for publishing and circulating photos of disrobed celebrities and aspiring stars but he was acquitted.

 

 

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