The man lived one hell of a life, one many of us can only dream about, but Hugh Hefner’s run is sadly over. On Wednesday, news surfaced that the Playboy founder passed away at the age of 91 peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with family by his side.
“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 Hefner, Playboy Enterprises’ chief creative officer and Hugh’s son, said in the statement.
“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” they added.
Hugh was of course most notable for the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953, which catapulted him into a cultural phenomenon and paving the way for the iconic Playboy Mansion that quickly became known for its legendary parties. Hugh was able to land some of the most iconic women to grace his cover of his magazine over the years, including Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford, Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell, Carmen Electra, Drew Barrymore and even Kim Kardashian.
Hefner was married three separate times, first to high school sweetheart Mildred Williams in 1949, then former Playmate of the Year Kimberly Conrad in 1989 and finally Crystal Hefner (31) in 2012. His third marriage came four years after breaking up with longtime girlfriend Holly Madison, who was the star of their E! reality series “The Girls Next Door.”
Hefner’s health had been in serious decline over the last year and he’s not been seen in public for some time. His passing comes just a little over a year after his brother, Keith, died battling cancer.
He’s survived by 4 children, Christine and David from his first marriage and Marston and Cooper from his second marriage.