Hugh Hefner, R.I.P.

HUGH HEFNER, founder of Playboy magazine, died yesterday at 91.

At some point his lifestyle became a punchline but that belies the facts that what he did was ground-breaking, starting Playboy magazine in 1953, following that with Playboy clubs and ancillary other businesses.

Besides the nude women, Hefner’s vision and magazine was ground-breaking in other ways.  In 1962, his message  as part of his “Playboy Philosophy included causes daring for the time – abortion rights, legalizing marijuana and the repeal of 19th-century sex laws.

Not surprisingly, the libertine lifestyle that Hefner promoted and lived was not without controversy and a lot of issues.  Check out this CNN.com piece on the dark side of his life and times.

It also became a cliche to say “I only read Playboy for the articles,” but the truth is, the writing in Playboy was amazing, with some of the biggest writers of the 20th century supplying content. For me, it was the interviews – the Playboy interview was always long, ridiculously in-depth, and often, fascinating. I certainly spent more time reading Playboy’s interviews than I did looking at the scantily-clad women (caveat: as an adult).

Did you know? Last year the famous Playboy Mansion was sold to a real estate investor for a $100 million.  As a condition of the sale, Hefner was allowed to continue living there, with Playboy Enterprises paying the buyer $1 million a year to lease it.

 

 

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