- Jan 31, 2009
Full story:The New York Times - Hugh Hefner, Who Built Playboy Empire and Embodied It, Dies at 91Hugh Hefner, Who Built Playboy Empire and Embodied It, Dies at 91
Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant all the while, as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s died Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion near Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.
His death was announced by Playboy Enterprises.
Hefner the man and Playboy the brand were inseparable. Both advertised themselves as emblems of the sexual revolution, an escape from American priggishness and wider social intolerance. Both were derided over the years as vulgar, as adolescent, as exploitative, and finally as anachronistic. But Mr. Hefner was a stunning success from his emergence in the early 1950s. His timing was perfect.
He was compared to Jay Gatsby, Citizen Kane and Walt Disney, but Mr. Hefner was his own production. He repeatedly likened his life to a romantic movie; it starred an ageless sophisticate in silk pajamas and smoking jacket, hosting a never-ending party for famous and fascinating people.
I was never a fan of his magazine but he sure is a true example of pulling yourself up and making something of yourself by sheer grit and determination