Hugh Hefner, the creator of the Playboy Empire died at 91 years of age on 27th September of natural causes. Hugh was the exact image of his brand - extravagant and rebellious with his iconic smoking pipe and silk pyjamas. But there was a side of his most of us didn’t bother to explore, he was quite the philanthropist!
“I want to live in a society where people can voice unpopular opinions,” he was caught saying in his 2009 documentary film Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel. His famous parties opened their gates to people of all races, becoming an impeccable part of the civil rights movement. This man worked for both the devil and the God at the same time when the Playboy magazine in the 60s and 70s bargained for sexual rights. Then he began the Playboy Foundation, fighting for abortion rights in 1965. “A humanist with some feminist sensibilities,” as he called himself.
The magazine has over the years became the fantasy of men ranging from their 20s to 50s and even 80s, they would give their right foot to be in Hefner’s place at the Playboy Mansion, complete with his set of Playmates (Yes, that part still creeps me out a bit, but it’s their choice!). The first issue featuring barely clad Marilyn Monroe came out in December 1953, it was unmarked because the man didn’t believe there would be a second issue. But he couldn’t be more wrong, Playboy sold 54,175 copies overnight and became a household name (not for the right reasons).
Many would say he was an artist, he put on shows and considered the Mansion a museum of sorts but with the rise of online pornography, his empire began to fall.
His youngest son Cooper Hefner is the heir to the Playboy brand, including the magazine and the clubs. But his Mansion? The infamous mansion was sold to Daren Metropoulos (another party loving millionaire) for $100 million in 2016 on the condition that Hugh would continue to stay in the mansion until his death. And he did, as the silk clad man who built a million fantasies.