Playboy Enterprises Inc said on Wednesday its founder Hugh Hefner has died from natural causes. Hefner, 91, peacefully passed away at his home, surrounded by loved ones, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement. Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953. Hugh was born on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, and was the elder of two sons.
The Playboy Magazine website, in tribute, has a file picture of Hefner, with a quote: “Life’s too short to be living somebody else’s dream”.
Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal and four 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. Hefner settled down somewhat in 2012 at age 86 when he took Crystal Harris, who was 60 years younger, as his third wife.
Time Magazine once called Hefner the ‘prophet of pop hedonism’. In an interview to CNN about a decade ago, Hefner, when asked about his flamboyant lifestyle, said: “I’m never going to grow up. 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.”
— Playboy (@Playboy) September 28, 2017
Hefner was identified as the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant fantasy party at Playboy mansions in Chicago and then in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, his net worth stood at $43 million, mostly due to his success as the founder of Playboy.
Hefner created Playboy as the first stylish glossy men’s magazine and in addition to nude fold-outs, it had intellectual appeal with top writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, James Baldwin and Alex Haley for men who liked to say they did not buy the magazine just for the pictures, the Associated Press reports. In-depth interviews with historic figures such as Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John Lennon also were featured regularly, the report added.
“I’ve never thought of Playboy quite frankly as a sex magazine,” Hefner told CNN in 2002. “I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.”
Details of Hefner’s memorial services were not made available as yet.