Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Hefner will be buried in a mausoleum in Westwood Memorial Park, next to Marilyn Monroe. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Hefner will be buried in a mausoleum in Westwood Memorial Park, next to Marilyn Monroe. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine and star of E! reality show ‘The Girls Next Door’, has died. He was 91.

Born Hugh Marston Hefner on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Grace Caroline and Glenn Lucius Hefner, the businessman died on Wednesday.

“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognisable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” a representative for the Playboy Enterprises founder said in a statement to People magazine.

By putting up his furniture as collateral for a loan and borrowing the rest from family and friends, Mr. Hefner published the very first issue of Playboy in December of 1953, which featured a nude Marilyn Monroe.

The same year, Hefner launched media and lifestyle company Playboy Enterprises, Inc., on which he served as a board member until the time of his death.

Of Playboy’s iconic logo, Hefner said in a 1967 interview: “The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning; and I chose it because it’s a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping — sexy.”

During the last decade or so, the parties had lessened, the Hef sightings decreased also. He was married again in 2012, to former Playmate Crystal Harris, who was 27.

In January 2016, the Playboy Mansion was put on the market for $200-million, on the condition Hefner would continue to work and live in the mansion. And that is where he watched early in 2017 the 10-hour long episodes of the aptly-titled Amazon Studios series “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story.” Cooper was one of the producers, and the series had his father’s stamp of approval. About it Hefner remarked, “This is my story, or at least how I remember it.”

Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal, daughter Christie and sons David, Marston and Cooper. Information regarding memorial services was not available.

He will be buried in a mausoleum in Westwood Memorial Park, where, in the mid-1990s, Hefner bought the drawer next to that of Marilyn Monroe, his first cover girl, for his final resting place.

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