The iconic figure passed away from ‘natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,’ according to Playboy’s official statement.
Hugh Hefner, Playboy magazine founder and editor-in-chief, passed away on Wednesday, September 27. The hot-button media empire died from “natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” Playboy confirmed in a statement. He was 91.
“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” the statement read.
“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,” Hefner’s son Cooper, Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, added.
“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” he continued. “He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.”
Born in Chicago, Illinois on April 9, 1926, Hefner introduced the world to Playboy magazine in 1953 after parlaying $8,000 in borrowed money. The self-made multi-millionaire earned an estimated $43 million from the magazine.
Before creating the iconic magazine, Hefner, who was raised by strict Methodist parents, started out as a copywriter for Esquire magazine. He left in 1952 after he asked for a $5 raise but was denied. That led him to create Playboy, and the rest is history.
The businessman also tried his hands at all forms of media. He hosted his own TV shows, including “Playboy’s Penthouse” in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Featuring interviews with the likes of Bob Newhart, Don Adams and Sammy Davis Jr., the show was shot in his hometown of Chicago.