Hugh Hefner, the iconic founder of Playboy magazine, died at his home, the Playboy Mansion, of natural causes at age 91.
Playboy Enterprises said in a statement on Wednesday. “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,” Cooper Hefner, Playboy Enterprises’ chief creative officer and Hugh’s son, said in the statement.”He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” the younger Hefner said.
Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe gracing the first cover. The magazine landed huge celebrities for years to come — including Cindy Crawford, Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell, Carmen Electra, Drew Barrymore and Kim Kardashian.
The magazine stopped publishing nude photos in 2016 but went back to them in February of this year after Hugh’s son, Cooper, was installed as chief creative officer.
He’s survived by 4 children — Christine and David from his first marriage and Marston and Cooper from his second marriage.