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Model Crystal Hefner (L) and Hugh Hefner attend the annual Halloween Party, hosted by Playboy and Hugh Hefner, at the Playboy Mansion on October 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy) By the 2000s, the rise of internet pornography and “lad mags” such as Maxim, which featured scantily clad starlets, had eroded much of Playboy’s subscriber base.By the 1980s, the Playboy franchise had lost much of its popularity.After Hefner suffered a minor stroke in 1985, he stepped down as CEO and turned over all Playboy business operations to his daughter, Christie, who guided the company’s fledgling cable TV channel but shuttered its foundering Playboy Clubs.“I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.” As if to prove his point, Playboy published articles and short fiction by some of the most celebrated writers of the day, including Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Carl Sagan, John Updike and Vladimir Nabokov — inadvertently creating a joke phrase, “I only read Playboy for the articles.” The magazine also earned respect for its lengthy interviews with high-profile figures like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and Jimmy Carter, who made headlines after granting Playboy an interview during his 1976 campaign for president.“I have looked on a lot of women with lust,” Carter told the magazine, startling many readers. God recognizes I will do this and forgives me.” As Playboy flourished in the ’60s and ’70s, Hefner steadily expanded his brand.
Hefner helped personally select monthly “Playmates,” persuaded famous sex symbols such as Jayne Mansfield and Ursula Andress to pose nude for the magazine and added “centerfold” to the popular lexicon.But Hefner’s own profile grew again thanks to “The Girls Next Door,” a reality TV series about his life with three of his young blonde girlfriends. Through it all, Hefner kept up a weekly schedule of rather tame activities at the Mansion — including a movie night, a game night and his prolific scrapbooking hobby — with a dwindling cadre of Old Hollywood buddies.In December 2012, after dating on and off for several years, Hefner married Crystal Harris, another former Playmate, in a small private ceremony at the Playboy Mansion. In a 2013 interview with Esquire magazine, Hefner said the number of women he had slept with was “over a thousand, I’m sure.” “There were chunks of my life when I was married, and when I was married I never cheated.There was no hugging and kissing in my home.” In 1944, after graduating from high school, Hefner joined the U. “And I wanted to read a magazine that was a little more sophisticated and was focused really on the romantic connection between the sexes from a male point of view.” After raising ,000 from investors, Hefner published the debut issue of Playboy in December 1953.
The premiere issue had no date, in case it sold poorly and there wasn’t a second issue.
(CNN Money) — Hugh Hefner — the silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy men’s magazine popularized the term “centerfold,” glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s — has died, his company said late Wednesday. Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with 0 of his own money and built the magazine into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire that at its 1970s peak included TV shows, a jazz festival and a string of Playboy Clubs whose cocktail waitresses wore bunny ears and cottontails.