Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Enterprises has died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the 27th of September. Hefner, also know affectionately as Hef, is survived by his current wife Crystal and four adult children. His daughter Christine was the CEO of Playboy Enterprises Inc for over 20 years. Cooper Hefner is currently at the helm in the CEO capacity.
Cooper Hefner stated that his father lived and exceptional life (understatement of the century?) and became a media and cultural pioneer and a driving force behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time. He noted that his father was an outspoken advocate of free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.
In 1953 Hefner put together $8,000 in loans amassed from his family and friends, including $1k from his own mother to start Playboy. The first issue of Playboy was created in the kitchen of his small apartment. The cover girl for the first issue was none other than Marilyn Monroe in a pinup shot.
The magazine startup was such a risk that the first issue did not even have a date on it as Hefner was not sure if there would ever be a second issue, let alone over 50 years worth.
Hef sold 50,000 copies of the first edition of his magazine proving to be an instant winner and making enough money to ensure that the newly created Playboy magazine would continue its publishing. By the end of the decade Hefner and Playboy were selling well over a million copies of the magazing with its rich and carefully balanced mix of pretty women, life advice and literature.
In the 60's Hefner seized the sexual revolution's newfound atmosphere and began his infamous partying, and, well, being an actual playboy.
Hefner opened hostess clubs that had scantily clad models with a bunny tail serving the clientele, he invested in hotels and other entertainment industry ventures. Hefner and his Playboy brand were going bigtime!
If I weren't to tell you that Hefner was at the very least secretly and idol for every boy and man over the age of 13, I'd be doing you an injustice.
Known for his extravagant playboy lifestyle and mega parties at his mansions, Hefner essentially was a realist and made sure to plan for the day he passed. He wanted to take his life full circle and since his life changed with the printing of the first issue with Marilyn Monroe in it, he actually went out and bought the crypt next to Monroe at the Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery in California so that he can always be near the beginning of his circle of life.
When asked to reflect on his own life, Hefner is on record as saying that he finds it interesting that he, on guy, living out all of his fantasies, is at the same time, living out the fantasies of so many other people.
You, sir, have been a personal inspiration to me and millions of other people around the world, throughout your life.
You will be missed, Mr. Hefner, but never forgotten.