An embodiment of style, charisma, entrepreneurship, and public avatar, Huge Hefner takes his last breath at the age of 91. Huge Hefner is the man who built the Playboy Empire and has been associated with this magazine ever since it delivered stunning success from the 1950s.
He died at the swanky and dream-like Playboy mansion at Beverly Hills, California. An emblem of the sexual revolution, Playboy has been accused of much hatefulness right from vulgarity to anachronism. Nevertheless, his production became the most successful men’s magazine of the world. It soon spread its branches to movies, cable TVs, clothing, jewelry, clubs, resorts, and casinos. Hefner evidently created one of the most recognizable and selling brands on earth.
Playboy magazine was launched in the year 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as their fist bunny. From the very first issue, the magazine had made a shocking declaration, “If you’re somebody’s sister, wife, or mother-in-law and picked us up by mistake, please pass us along to the man in your life and get back to Ladies Home Companion.”
The magazine has published many controversial topics written by many controversial writers, and Hefner made sure, it outshines. Famous celebrities who were associated with the magazine are Drew Barrymore, Farrah Fawcett, Linda Evans, Deborah Harry, Lauren Hutton and much more. In fact, they even published long and candid interviews with global figures such as Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jimmy Carter.
Playboy never backed out from criticism for publishing nude pictures of girls in their cover magazine. They in-fact had them named as Playmates. They were many magazines that copied their ideas and also tried to dethrone Playboy magazine and Hugh Hefner. More the controversy, the more the Playboy magazine had become.
He was like a silk-robed supernova Casanova. He glamorized urban lifestyle and built a billion-dollar entertainment empire. He was born to conservative Protestants in Chicago and admitted that his parents were raised as “pure prohibitionists”. It would come as a surprise that Hefner was a writer for the US Army’s newspaper. He was even a promotional copywriter at the Esquire magazine. His ambition was to create a men’s magazine with sex as the chief component to titillate the buttoned America. However, Playboy even published the work of prolific writers such as Ian Fleming, John Updike, and Vladimir Nabokov. Quite amazingly, Hefner was a huge advocate of civil rights.
The first message of his debut issue of Playboy gave the message: “We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and a hors-d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex…” Hefner has the unique Guinness World record of being the longest-serving editor-in-chief of a magazine.
He once donated $100,000 to the University of Southern California to fund a course, Censorship in Cinema. This unabated proponent of sexuality and cosmopolitan culture was a legend who changed the perception about the orgy of human emotions. His death is mourned by of one of the most exclusive American magazines.
Article by Mausam.