Hugh Hefner, the man who founded Playboy magazine and, in doing so, created an iconic brand, has died of natural causes at 91. Playboy Enterprises put out a statement announcing Hefner’s death.
“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,” said Cooper Hefner, Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises.
Hugh Hefner put out the first issue of Playboy in December, 1953. The magazine became known not only for its erotic photos, but also for publishing fiction by important writers and for its iconic Playboy Interviews with such figures as Malcolm X, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and even American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell.
Hugh M Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal, four grown children, Christie, who served as CEO of Playboy Enterprise for more than 20 years, David, Marston and Cooper, who currently serves as Chief Creative Officer at the company.
For more information about Hefner, you can watch the video below, courtesy of Playboy.