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Hugh Hefner Dead at 91

The publishing mogul passed away from natural causes at his Playboy Mansion home in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Sep 28, 2017 by: WENN

Hugh Hefner Dead at 91

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died, aged 91.

The publishing mogul passed away from natural causes at his Playboy Mansion home in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Hugh's son Cooper, who is Playboy Enterprises' chief creative officer, paid tribute to his father in a statement which reads: "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 recognizable and enduring in history."

The news of Hefner's death emerges 10 months after he dismissed rumors suggesting he had died in December.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926, Hefner began his career as a writer and worked for Esquire in the early 1950s. He quit the job in 1952 and took out a loan the following year to help him launch his own publication.

The first issue of Playboy hit news stands in December, 1953 and became instrumental in helping to fuel the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s.

Publication editors briefly ditched its naked photo spreads last year, with Baywatch star Pamela Anderson becoming the last woman to bare all for the magazine when she appeared in the January/February, 2016 issue, but they decided to bring female nudity back in early 2017.

Hefner also dabbled in TV, launching his own Playboy's Penthouse show in the late 1950s and Playboy After Dark, which ran from 1969 to 1970, and he served as a producer on films like Roman Polanski's Macbeth in 1971, and Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different. He also made guest appearances on shows like Get Smart, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Sex and the City.

He is survived by his third wife Crystal, who he wed in 2012, and his adult sons Cooper, David and Marston, and daughter Christie from his previous relationships.

He will be laid to rest in a crypt next to the grave of Marilyn Monroe, one of Playboy's most famous pin-ups, in Westwood, Los Angeles. Hefner told the New York Times in 2011 he had already selected his final resting place and paid for it.

Hefner was also famous for the lavish, star-studded parties he threw at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, where he lived for more than four decades.

He sold the estate earlier this year with the provision that he be allowed to live there the rest of his life.