The charismatic founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner, died today at the age of 91 at his home, the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, his company said.
Hefner died of natural causes, said Playboy Enterprise, the parent company of the Playboy Empire.
In addition, Playboy’s Twitter account posted a photo of Hefner and highlighted one of his quotes: “Life is too short to be living another person’s dream.”
Born in Chicago in 1926, Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 after Esquire executives denied him a $ 5 raise on his salary.
The protagonist of the first issue of Playboy in 1953 was the diva Marilyn Monroe, with a cover photo in which she appeared dressed, but completely naked in a bed of red velvet in the interior pages.
Playboy, famous for the “bunny” that represents it, was born as a challenge to the conservative moral codes that governed in the United States at the time.
“When Hef (Hugh Hefner) created Playboy, he did it to defend personal and sexual freedom at a time when America was painfully conservative. Nudity played a role in the debate about our sexual liberties,” Playboy’s a statement in 2015, after announcing the abandonment of the nudes.
Under the direction of Hefner, Playboy continued to transgress with the presence of the first African American, Darine Stern, on the cover of October 1971; or when in November of 1975 showed the model Patricia Margot McClain on the verge of masturbating in a cinema.
Over the years, however, Playboy was losing its provocative character, as the country was also leaving behind much of its sexual taboos and its puritan sensitivity.
Playboy was also famous for his interviews with characters of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro; the Nicaraguan Sandinista president, Daniel Ortega, during his confrontation with Ronald Reagan in 1983; or Martin Luther King after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
In its pages, in addition, Gabriel García Márquez published the story “The most beautiful drowned of the world” in 1971 and Hunter Thompson advanced in 1983 part of its book “The curse of Lono”.
Known for his wild parties in the Playboy Mansion full of “rabbits” and his quirky life surrounded by women much younger than him, Hefner once admitted that for some time he had relationships with eleven of the twelve “bunnies” cover each year .
Hefner used to have several girlfriends at a time and some settled in the Playboy Mansion, such as the twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon, with whom the founder of Playboy had a relationship in 2008 when they were just 18 years old and he was well past 80.
The founder of Playboy married three times and had four children, one of them, Christie, took over the decaying empire of his father in the early eighties ready to eliminate the ruinous business of the company.
Hefner married for the first time in 1949 with Mildred Williams, with whom he had two children and of which he divorced in 1959.
After three decades with a lifelong lifestyle, in 1989 he remarried this time with the “bunny” Playboy that year, Kimberley Conrad, 36 years younger than him, with whom he had two other children and from that was separated in 1998.
His last wife was Crystal Harris, “Bunny” Playboy in December 2009. She was 26 and he was 86 when they were married in 2012.
In 1970, Hefner purchased the Playboy Mansion located in the hills of Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, property that sold in 2016 for $ 100 million to Daren Metropoulos although he continued to live in it until today, the last of his days.