Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant — all the while, as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s — died on Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. He was 91.
His death was announced by Playboy Enterprises.
Hefner the man and Playboy the brand were inseparable. Both advertised themselves as emblems of the sexual revolution, an escape from American priggishness and wider social intolerance. Both were derided over the years — as vulgar, as adolescent, as exploitative and finally as anachronistic. But Mr. Hefner was a stunning success from the moment he emerged in the early 1950s. His timing was perfect. Continue reading....
Some years ago, sitting in his castlelike mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, Hugh Hefner was telling a visitor about the Halloween party taking place there in a few days. It would be — what? — the 7,435th party of Hefner’s exceptional charmed and successful life, a lavish bash for 1,000 or so of his closest and most comely friends.
“Now, this is a costume party,” said Hefner. “You will have to wear a costume.”
“I was thinking,” said the visitor, “that, with all due respect, I might get some pajamas, a robe, a pipe, slippers and a Pepsi and going as, well, the young Hugh Hefner.”
The then 73-year-old Hefner laughed. He gave a sly smile and said, “I’m sorry. That won’t work. I’m going as the young Hugh Hefner.” Continue reading....
Hugh Hefner, the incurable playboy who built a publishing and entertainment empire on the idea that Americans should shed their puritanical hang-ups and enjoy sex, has died. He was 91.
He died Wednesday of natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, according to Teri Thomerson, a Playboy spokesperson.
Hefner was the founder of Playboy magazine, launched amid the conservatism of the 1950s, when marriage and domesticity conferred social status. Hefner pitched an alternative standard — swinging singlehood — which portrayed the desire for sex as being as normal as craving apple pie. He redefined status for a generation of men, replacing lawn mowers and fishing gear with new symbols: martini glasses, a cashmere sweater and a voluptuous girlfriend, the necessary components of a new lifestyle that melded sex and materialism. Continue reading....