Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, the founder of the controversial Playboy magazine, has died of natural causes at the age of 91.

Hefner died at his famous Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and was surrounded by loved ones, according to sources.

Hefner founded Playboy more than 60 years ago with $600 of his own money and $1,000 borrowed from his mother to finance the venture. The very first centerfold in the controversial magazine was of none other than Marilyn Monroe in 1953.

Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, who serves as the magazine’s Chief Creative Officer, released a statement following his father’s death: “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. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history.”

While the magazine reached a peak of seven million monthly readers in the 1970s, readership declined sharply with the rise of the internet, forcing Hefner and Playboy to temporarily abandon nudity in the magazine, although only for a brief period of time from 2016 to early 2017.

Check out this video chronicling Hefner’s unique life:

Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal, who was just 25 years old when he married her at the age of 85. Hefner also leaves behind sons Cooper, David, and Marston, and one daughter Christie, who became president of the magazine in 1982 and then CEO until 2009.

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Source: CNBC

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