Hugh Hefner, founder of adult magazine Playboy, has died at the age of 91.

Playboy Enterprises Inc. announced the news of his demise in a statement on Wednesday revealing the mogul “peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones”.

 

Cooper Hefner, his son and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, payed tribute to his father saying: “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.”

Although he was born into a strict Methodist family in Chicago, Hefner began publishing Playboy in his kitchen at home in 1953, featuring Marilyn Monroe as its first centerfold.

The magazine became an instant hit and the largest-selling men’s magazine in the world, shifting seven million copies a month at its peak.

Hefner’s magazine later spawned a business empire that included casinos and nightclubs and was known to live the lifestyle portrayed in the magazine.

The mogul dated and married Playboy models, and in his later years threw huge parties in his luxurious mansions.

Hefner, who claimed to have slept with more than 1,000 women, described himself as the godfather of the sexual revolution.



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