“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognisable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones.”
— Playboy (@Playboy) September 28, 2017
His son Cooper Hefner also said, “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 recognisable and enduring in history. 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 on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Hefner quickly shot to fame with the first issue of Playboy published in December 1953, which featured Marilyn Monroe in the nude. He launched Playboy Enterprises, Inc. in the same year, and in 1971, he purchased the legendary Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, where he lived until he passed.
He divorced his first wife Mildred Williams, whom he shared two children with, in 1959, and in 1989, he married the Playmate of the Year Kimberley Conrad. The couple also had two children together, before officially divorcing in 2010. Hefner had always been public about his intimate experiences with various women throughout the decades.
His latest marriage was to Crystal Harris, one of the women he housed in his Playboy Mansion, in 2012. The Playboy Mansion was sold to his neighbour Daren Metropoulos for US$200 million in June, and it was agreed upon that Hefner would be allowed to live there until his death.
It’s an end of an era indeed. Rest in peace, Hefner.