Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91


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PTI

Los Angeles (USA), 28 Sep 2017: Playboy founder Hugh M Hefner, died on of natural causes at his home surrounded by family on Wednesday night, Playboy said in a statement.

 

Hefner known for his revolution in the 1950’s, built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolised by bow-tied women in bunny costumes.

 

He was also the founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, the publishing group that operates the magazine. Hefner, a millionaire, was also a political activist and philanthropist in several causes and public issues.

 

In 1953, Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, featuring naked photos of Marilyn Monroe and an editorial promise of "humor, sophistication and spice."

 

On June 4, 1963, Hefner was arrested for promoting obscene literature after an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of Jayne Mansfield was released. The case went to trial and resulted in a hung jury.

 

Hefner had faced obscenity charges for publishing and circulating photos of disrobed celebrities and aspiring stars but he was acquitted.

 

"I’m never going to grow up," Hefner said in an 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 created Playboy as the first stylish glossy men’s magazine and in addition to nude fold-outs, it had intellectual appeal with top writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, James Baldwin and Alex Haley for men who liked to say they did not buy the magazine just for the pictures.

 

In-depth interviews with historic figures such as Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John Lennon also were featured regularly.

 

"I’ve never thought of Playboy quite frankly as a sex magazine," Hefner told in an interview. "I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient."

 

"What I created came out of my own adolescent dreams of fantasies," he told CNN. "I was trying to redefine what it meant to be a young, urban unattached male."

 

Playboy’s rabbit silhouette became one of the best-known logos in the world and the "bunny" waitresses in his Playboy nightclubs were instantly recognizable.

 

After suffering a minor stroke in 1985, Hefner made daughter Christie chief executive officer of Playboy Enterprises and she gave the business a makeover before stepping down in 2009. Hefner’s son, Cooper, who was nearly 40 years younger than Christie, assumed a major role in the company in 2014.

 

In August 2016, one of Hefner’s neighbors, a private equity investor, announced he had bought the Playboy mansion for $100 million with the understanding Hefner could stay there until he died.

 

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