‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

High Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, has died aged 91.

The publisher was a larger than life character who will be remembered for appearing his trademark smoking jacket and silk pyjamas. His signature look for decades.

Following his death Hefner has been described as a misogynist, but also praised for his commitment to free speech and civil rights, including gay rights.

Hefner was a cartoonist for Esquire magazine who resigned when the publication refused to give him a pay rise. A year later he launched Playboy magazine after raising finance with a bank loan and contributions from investors.

The magazine’s 1962  debut issue featured nude images of screen star Marilyn Monroe and was a sell-out success.

The magazine is famous for its depictions of naked women, but also published writing from prominent authors including Joseph Heller, Margaret Atwood and Norman Mailer. In it’s heyday interviews in Playboy magazine with often with controversial identities including Malcolm X, Cuban leader Fiedel Castro and jazz great Miles Davis.

Hefner also published works that touched on gay rights, including publishing fiction that included gay characters. In 2012, Hefner published an editorial voicing his support for marriage equality.

OIP Staff


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