Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner: The Man Behind an Empire (VIDEO)
Hugh Hefner, adult entertainment extraordinaire, has pioneered one of the most successful adult entertainment brands in the world. As the founding patriarch of Playboy Magazine, he continues to be noted as an icon and innovative inspiration.
To salute his contributions of pop culture, Celebuzz is taking a look at his career and achievements.
Hefner was born on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. Early in his career he founded a high school newspaper and after working as a copywriter for men’s magazine Esquire, he quit to start his own publication known to the world as Playboy. Purchasing an early nude color photo of Marilyn Monroe ensured the first issue of Playboy sold 50,000 copies.
The magazine was considered an antidote to the sexual repression of the 1950s, and Hugh embodied the playboy persona: a sophisticated, liberated, modern urbanite.
In the 60’s, Playboy Enterprises expanded with hotels, books, films, a modeling agency, a record company and world-famous clubs. Hugh also started the Playboy Foundation, helping non-profit groups fighting censorship and researching human sexuality.
After moving to Los Angeles, Hefner took on new creative projects, producing films, including Monty Python’s first feature, and starting the Playboy Jazz Festival. Hefner's Playboy Mansion, the headquarters for his models, became the place to be seen with celebrities attending legendary hedonistic parties.
Hefner has three sons and a daughter Christie, who became CEO of the Playboy empire. He is now engaged to Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, but no wedding plans have been revealed yet.
To learn more about the life of pioneer Hugh Hefner, watch the video above.