Playboy King
Hugh Hefner sitting in front of a wall collage of female centerfolds in 1955.Archive Photos Getty Images
Playboy King
Hugh Hefner And The Playboy Playmates 1966
Party For Hugh Hefner
The Playboy Club
Hugh Hefner Chicago 1961
Hugh Hefner, Bonnie J. Halpin
Playboy King
Hefner Flies In
Hugh Hefner 1970
Hugh Hefner Los Angeles 1982
Playboy Walk of Fame
Hugh Hefner Los Angeles 1975
Real People - Season 1
Hugh Hefner 1985
Playboy Hefner Wedding
Schwinn Black Phantom
Hugh Hefner Arrives At Stansted Airport For Launch Of Playboy Club London
High Hefner Dies Aged 91
Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner sitting in front of a wall collage of female centerfolds in 1955.
Archive Photos Getty Images
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Hugh Hefner: See the Playboy Founder’s Life in Photos

Sep 28, 2017

Playboy founder and American icon Hugh Hefner died Wednesday at the age of 91, according to a statement by Playboy Enterprises. Hefner passed away peacefully from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion.

Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 and published the first issue of the magazine from his apartment's kitchen table. The first cover featured a pinup of Marilyn Monroe and lacked a publication date in case it sold poorly. The magazine was an instant success, with the debut edition selling more than 50,000 copies. By the end of the 1950s, the publication sold more than a million copies a month.

The magazine grew famous for its journalism and for the models that graced its pages. Despite Playboy's reliance on nudity, Hefner never thought of it as solely a sex magazine, he told CNN in 2002. It regularly featured heavy topics, with in-depth interviews with historical figures like Fidel Castro, John Lennon, and Malcom X. The magazine embodied both intellectual and visual appeal, and was a beacon of the 1960s sexual revolution. Time Magazine featured Hefner on its cover in 1967 and dubbed him a "prophet of pop hedonism."

Over the years, Hefner's legend grew as he married his magazine's "playmates" and appeared in reality TV shows with his girlfriends. Hefner's trademark look—a silk robe and a lit pipe—made his image one of luxury and indulgence.

Check out Hugh Hefner's life in photos above.

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