Hugh Hefner, the legendary founder of Playboy magazine, passed away on Wednesday at The Playboy Mansion. He was 91.
According to a press release from Playboy, Hefner “peacefully passed away today from natural causes.”
His son, Cooper Hefner, said, “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.”
Cooper continued, “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.”
Hugh Hefner started Playboy magazine in 1953, He raised $8,000 from 45 investors and published the first issue featuring a nude Marilyn Monroe.
He purchased the legendary Playboy Mansion in 1971 and made it his permanent home. He sold the iconic home to his neighbor, Daren Metropoulos, in 2016 with the stipulation that Hefner could live there until he passed.
Hugh Hefner put me in Playboy & ignited my career. I am forever indebted, Hef. You will forever live on as an icon of epic proportions. #RIP
— Donna D’Errico (@DonnaDErrico) September 28, 2017
Hefner had four children and is survived by his current wife, Crystal Harris, whom he married on December 31, 2012.