Hugh Hefner: The Founder of Playboy magazine Dies at 91

Hugh Hefner

The Pajama Man, Iconic Playboy and the leader of ’60s sexual revolutionary died Wednesday at 91. Hefner lived a glamorous Hollywood life, sharing time and photo with various celebrities, civil rights leaders, and journalists. But in 1953, playboy Hugh Hefner was living out an orthodox version of the American Dream.

Early Life: Hugh Hefner, at the age of 27 was doing a job as a cartoonist and copywriter. He was leaving with his a wife and his baby daughter. Hefner’s home life was so picture-perfect that it was photographed in the Chicago Daily News. Actually, it was a lie —he hated his job, his wife had confessed before their wedding that she’d cheated on him.

The visionary editor in November 1953 borrowed $8,000 from banks and investors and published the first magazine of Playboy. Containing unlicensed nude photos of Marilyn Monroe the magazine sold out its 50,000-plus copies. This is the beginning of a new kind of American dream.

Career: After the World War II, with America’s economy booming, Playboy persuaded the virtues of consumption—of clothes, travel, food, wine, and, most importantly – beautiful women. Hefner had a signature red-silk robe, which is custom-made silk — not satin, satin made him slip off the bed sheets, he said — in a shade, he liked to call “gunfighter black”, besides his private jet, his legions of blondes, and his lavish mansion in Holmby Hills.

Hefner moved his office to the bedroom in 1963, a decade after the first issue of Playboy, and never looked back. “One of the key moments in my life was the discovery that I could get away with wearing pajamas most of the time,” Mr. Hefner wrote in “Hef’s Little Black Book” his kind of biography from 2004.

Playboy was about more than naked women are a cliché, but it’s also true. In 1960, Playboy had more than a million readers and by 1972, at the magazine’s peak, it had seven million. But his significant role in American sexuality was that he turned it into exposed consumption. The Playboy lifestyle Sex is less about desire than about showing off.

In 2005, Hefner’s commercialization of sexuality found a new audience: women. In the 70s the growing force of the feminist movement and the rise of hardcore pornography began to shrink Playboy’s power in the marketplace. But in 2005, women were increasingly adopting Hefner’s ideals as their own.

The Girls Next Door debuted in 2005; the reality show documented the lives of Hefner’s three primary girlfriends – Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson. After six seasons it was canceled in 2010. This time the lifestyle being pushed was female. In 2010 Hefner told The New York Times that, the magazine used to carry the brand, now it was the brand that carried the magazine. In 2015, Playboy announced it would no longer feature nudity in the magazine, a decision that’s since been overturned.

The year 1972: Playboy was debatably at its financial and cultural peak, John Berger – the writer gave a series of 30-minute films and said: “Publicity is never a celebration of a pleasure-in-itself”.  

In 1949 He married a Millie Williams. Before divorce in 1959 they had a daughter, Christie and a son, David. Hefner married a former Playmate of the Year, Kimberly Conrad in 1989 and the couple had sons Marston and Cooper. They got divorced in 2010, and Hefner married Crystal Harris two years later.

This adult magazine publisher, businessman, and notorious playboy passed away from – natural causes at his home surrounded by loved ones. He was 91 years old when he died at the famous Los Angeles estate in the Playboy Mansion, the Holmby Hills neighborhood.

-Films Family


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