Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, died at his home, the iconic Playboy Mansion in Hollywood, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement on Wednesday. He died of natural causes, the statement read. He was 91.
Playboy magazine was founded more than 60 years ago and brought female nudity out of the bachelor parties and into the living rooms. The magazine played a leading role in the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
Hefner reportedly founded the magazine in 1953 with $8000 raised from family and friends, including his mother. The first centrefold, an iconic feature of the monthly magazine, was of Marilyn Monroe. Hefner had acquired a nude picture of Marilyn Monroe for the centrefold, taken before the start of her film career.
“I’m never going to grow up,” Hefner said in a CNN 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.”
During his career he amassed a fortune estimated to be worth $43 million and became a pop culture icon, appearing in episodes of The Simpsons, Sex and The City, and in a reality TV show about the women at his Playboy Mansion.
“I’ve lived out dreams and fantasies and played some part in changing the world,” Hefner once told Vanity Fair. “It’s pretty sweet.”