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Hugh Hefner, Playboy Founder and Cultural Icon, Dead at 91

60 Playmate Bunnies Celebrate Playboy's 60th Anniversary
Charles Gallay, Getty Images for Playboy

Hugh Hefner passed away on Wednesday, September 27 in his Los Angeles home, the iconic Playboy Mansion. He was 91.

News of Hefner’s death—he died of natural causes while surrounded by his family—were announced on the official Playboy Twitter this evening, along with a poignant quote by the man himself:

A controversial figure in American entertainment, the media tycoon launched Playboy magazine in 1953, the first issue of which famously included a nude centerfold of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. Since its inception, the publication has undergone a number of rebrandings, though its cultural status as a tent pole of the sexual revolution has remained over six decades, while its editorials cemented phrases like “Playboy Bunny” and “Playmate” into America’s pop culture lexicon.

Though he reached peak fame in the 1960s and ’70s, Hefner was reintroduced to a new generation of media consumers in the mid-2000s on the E! reality show The Girls Next Door.

In addition to being a magazine publisher, Hefner was also a journalist, philanthropist, activist, real life multi-millionaire playboy and businessman, whose empire included fashion goods, car accessories and homeware among other media properties.

Between 2016 and early 2017, Playboy eliminated nudity from its pages before returning to its roots in February.

Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal, his sons, Cooper, David and Marston, and his daughter, Christie.

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