Playboy Founder and Pop Culture Legend Dies At 91

The legendary publisher and media mogul has passed away peacefully at home aged 91.

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises has died aged 91. This news may come as no surprise who saw his recent sale of the iconic Playboy Mansion as a sign of his declining health.

Started in 1953, Playboy first burst onto the scene as a male focused adult magazine but quickly became known for its fine writing and groundbreaking stance on hot topics such as civil rights, female rights and of course, nudity. Spawning an empire that ranged from publishing, real estate to nightclubs, Hefner was known to stand behind his editorial and his beliefs, even leading free-speech rallies in the US, ending in a Supreme Court battle after the US Post Office refused to deliver Playboy magazine.

At the magazine's peak, it was said to be selling upwards of seven million copies a month with famous 'Playmate' centrefolds including Pamela Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith. A true businessman, Hefner's empire diversified into real estate, merchandise and nightclubs over the years.

A statement on his death said that: "Hefner took a progressive approach not only to sexuality and humour, but also to literature, politics and culture." While his son, Cooper Hefner stated: "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,"


Written by
Poppy covers a wide range of topics at Billionaire, having spent the past 13 years at companies including Singapore Tatler, Her World Plus and Harpers Bazaar UK. She has a passion for fashion, jewellery and travel as well as an avaricious fascination with crime novels. Follow her at poppypskinner on Instagram.

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