Published: 2017-09-28 11:57
Last Updated: 2017-09-28 13:13
Hugh Hefner, founder of the iconic international adult magazine Playboy, has died at 91.
The famous “playboy” passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home, from natural causes, Playboy Enterprises Inc said.
Playboy magazine was first published by Hefner from his kitchen in 1953. The first edition featured nude shots of Marilyn Monroe that Hefner bought for $200.
Playboy quickly became the best-selling men’s magazine worldwide. It made Hefner a millionaire and helped him expand his empire into nightclubs, casinos and reality TV shows.
"I've never thought of Playboy quite frankly as a sex magazine," Hefner told CNN in 2002. "I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient."
An eccentric character, Hefner was famous for his silk pyjamas, red robe and for dating and marrying very young “Playmates,” whom he lived with in his luxurious Playboy Mansion in LA.
"I am a kid in a candy store," Hefner famously said. "I dreamed impossible dreams, and the dreams turned out beyond anything I could possibly imagine. I'm the luckiest cat on the planet."
Hefner’s son, Cooper, said that his father would be "greatly missed by many,” adding that he was an advocate of free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.
But was he?
To feminists, Hefner, who claimed to have slept with over 1,000 women, was someone who objectified women.
However, the businessman was a great supporter of gay rights and racial integration.
Some of Playboy’s most significant interviewees included Beatles singer John Lennon, civil rights leader Martin Luther King and Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro.
Hefner was born in Chicago in 1926. He graduated with a degree in Psychology and served in the US Army in the 1940s.