Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder and pop culture icon, dead at 91
September 29, 2017
Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones," Playboy Enterprises, Inc. said in a statement Wednesday night.
Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal and four grown children: Christie, who served as CEO of Playboy Enterprise for more than 20 years; David, Marston and Cooper, the latter of whom currently serves as Chief Creative Officer at the company.
Cooper said in a statement, "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."
It was that first issue of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe that launched Hugh Hefner as a social and sexual revolutionary. And after all the bunnies, all the playmates, all the girlfriends, one named Brandy, and the twins named Sandy and Mandy, Hefner wanted to be near Monroe for eternity.
He bought the crypt next to Monroe's at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in California, which he planned to be his final resting place. Reflecting on his own life, Hefner once said "the interesting thing is how one guy, through living out his own fantasies, is living out the fantasies of so many other people."