Hugh Hefner Founder of Playboy Dead at 91

Photo of author

(— September 29, 2017)

Hugh Marston Hefner died in his Holmby Hills home on September 27, 2017, as announced by Playboy Enterprises. The cause of death is still undisclosed.

The founder, editor and chief creative officer of Playboy was also the face of the media company for more than sixty years.

Credited with being one of the icons of the sexual revolution movement Hugh was a true embodiment of the forever young lifestyle, or as he would put it “living a grown-up version of a boy’s dream.”

Hefner claimed to have slept with over a thousand women and frequently had several live-in girlfriends.

He lived life the way he wanted claiming “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.” He attributed his health and longevity to the lifestyle he led.

“Hef” had a passion for journalism reflected in the articles and interviews published by Playboy. Notable interviewees include: Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

He was also known as a philanthropist devoting time and funds to scholarships, conservation groups and charities. In 1978 he was a major contributor of the fundraiser for the restoration of the Hollywood sign. Hugh even has a species of marsh rabbit named after him – Sylvilagus palustris hefneri.

Hefner advocated freedom of speech and was a strong supporter of social causes frequently inviting black guests to televised parties, also soliciting comedians and performers of color.

During the 1960s and 1970s the Playboy Mansion gained fame from media coverage of the lavish parties held there. The mansion was sold to investor Daren Metropoulos in 2016 for a reported $100 million. Metropoulos bought the mansion next door in 2009 and plans to connect the two properties.

Other than for parties, the Playboy Mansion was also used to host charity events and as a film and television set for various shows.

All things considered Hefner truly lived the life he believed in, a lifestyle that could today be considered outdated. After turning 85 he was quoted as saying “You’re as young as the girl you feel.”

Upon news of his death many have voiced their praise and final farewells.

“Thank you for making the world a better place. A freeer and sexier place,” wrote Pamela Anderson in an emotional twitter note.

Larry King called Hefner a “GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights.”

“One of the nicest men I’ve ever known. Godspeed, Hugh Hefner,” tweeted Nancy Sinatra.