Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, dies at 91
10:40, Thursday, 28 September, 2017
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, has died aged 91. Hefner, who founded the men’s lifestyle magazine in 1953, died at his home, the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, the publication announced. Cooper Hefner, Hefner’s son and the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement: “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.” Hefner, who was born in Chicago in 1926 to Methodist parents, served in the US army in the second world war, graduated from the University of Illinois and worked as a copywriter for Esquire before launching Playboy magazine in December 1953. The first issue, produced from his kitchen and financed with $8,000 from investors, featured nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe, taken years earlier, and sold more than 50,000 copies. The magazine became known for its sexually explicit content, as well as its publication of writers including Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Jack Kerouac and Margaret Atwood. Miles Davis was the magazine’s first interview. Other interviews included Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and the then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, who confided that he had “committed adultery” in his heart. John Lennon spoke to Playboy in 1980, not long before he was murdered.