American Cultural Icon, Playboy Magazine Publisher, Hugh Hefner Dead at 91

By  //  September 28, 2017

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passed away surrounded by loved ones

Iconic “Playboy” magazine publisher Hugh Hefner died of natural causes at 91-years-old at his home — the Playboy mansion — in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, the magazine said in a statement. (Playboy.com image)

Iconic “Playboy” magazine publisher Hugh Hefner died of natural causes at 91-years-old at his home — the Playboy mansion — in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, the magazine said in a statement.

Hefner could not have imagined that Playboy, the magazine he created in his Chicago apartment in 1953 for $8,000, and its bunny logo would “become a fixture of the cultural landscape as universal as Disneyland and Coca-Cola,” as he wrote in 1989, for the magazine’s 35th anniversary issue.”

Its historic first issue, featuring a centerfold of a naked, pre-stardom Marilyn Monroe, was undated because Hefner wasn’t sure there would be a second. That issue sold almost 54,000 copies at 50 cents each.

Playboy (original proposed title: Stag Party) was a men’s magazine that challenged puritanical convention, focusing more on indoor pursuits than outdoors.

“We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph, and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex,” Hefner wrote in the inaugural issue. At its 1975 peak, circulation climbed to 5.6 million.

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Playboy magazine’s historic first issue, featuring a centerfold of a naked, pre-stardom Marilyn Monroe, was undated because Hefner wasn’t sure there would be a second. That issue sold almost 54,000 copies at 50 cents each.


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