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Hugh Hefner Dead at 91
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Summary: Hugh Hefner died on Wednesday night of natural causes. 

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner showed the world that hedonism is a legitimate lifestyle, and on Wednesday night, he passed at the ripe age of 91, leaving behind a legacy of sexual freedom.


According to a statement from Playboy, Hefner died of natural causes at his home. He was surrounded by his family.

Hefner created the men’s magazine Playboy in the 1950s, when the culture was so prudish that states could ban contraceptives and actors were not allowed to say “pregnant” on television. With only $8,000, Hefner launched his magazine in 1953, and within a year, he had 200,000 subscribers. In five years, he had one million.

Hefner’s first issue of Playboy featured nude photos of icon Marilyn Monroe and a promise to give its readers “humor, sophistication, and spice.” By the 1970s, the magazine had 7 million subscribers and inspired competitors such as Penthouse and Hustler. 

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Decades later, when the internet injured the pornography business, Playboy was still a worldwide brand; and over the years, it had branched beyond the magazine to include TV shows, apparel, a website, and more.

In 1992, Hefner said that one of his proudest accomplishments was changing the way people viewed sex.

“That I changed attitudes toward sex,” Hefner said to The New York Time. “That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”

Hefner was well-known for wearing a maroon smoking jacket and having numerous girlfriends at one time. These mostly blonde women with pretty faces and perfect bodies lived at the Playboy mansion with him, which is located in Los Angeles. Hefner said that he had sex with more than a thousand women in his lifetime, and he epitomized the bachelor lifestyle even though he was married multiple times and in polyamorous relationships.

Playboy had the distinctive logo of a white bunny’s silhouette. In the 1960s, Hefner opened a string of Playboy nightclubs, and he had the waitresses dress up in revealing costumes with bunny ears and tails.

In 2005, the brand saw a resurgence when E! Network aired The Girls Next Door, which starred Hefner and his three main girlfriends: Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson, and Bridget Marquardt. Madison later released a tell-all about her Playboy experience, saying that life in the mansion had a “dark side.”

While Madison and feminists like Gloria Steinem have blasted Hefner and Playboy in the past, many other celebrities have expressed their fondness.

“I am me because of you. You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. Outside of my family you were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life,” former Playmate Pamela Anderson said on Instagram after Hefner’s passing.

“RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo,” Kim Kardashian said on Twitter.

Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal. He also had four children, Christie, David, Marston, and Cooper from previous marriages. Playboy did not mention funeral plans, but according to The Associated Press, Hefner owns a plot of cemetery land next to Marilyn Monroe.

With Hefner’s passing, some have also wondered what will happen to the Playboy mansion? According to NBC News, Hefner’s next-door-neighbor Dean Metropoulos has purchased the land for $100 million.

What do you think of Hugh Hefner? Let us know in the comments below.


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