Media mogul, founder of Playboy Enterprises, editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, and of course notorious playboy, Hugh Hefner, died of natural causes in his home on Wednesday, September 26. His death, at age 91, was confirmed by Playboy Enterprises who stated that he was surrounded by loved ones and passed away peacefully.
Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with just $600. At the time, he was 27 years old and a new father. By putting up his furniture as collateral for a loan and borrowing a few thousand dollars from family and friends, Hefner published the first issue of Playboy in December of 1953, which featured a nude centerfold of Marilyn Monroe. The publication later grew into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire that included TV shows, a jazz festival and a chain of Playboy Clubs.
Hefner branded himself as a playboy, a symbol for the sexual revolution. He was notorious for having several young women, some of which he married, living with him at the infamous Playboy Mansion—which was equipped with 29 bedrooms. People considered Hefner to be vulgar and his magazines to be obscene, but as more people became shocked at his actions, the more successful his brand grew.
Today, Playboy is a billion dollar company, with its magazines available in over 20 countries. Through licensing deals, Playboy products generate more than $1 billion in global retail sales in more than 150 countries and territories.
Hefner lived a full life and has assured that his legacy will live on and be successful for years to come. Click through to see iconic pictures of the late Playboy founder throughout his life.