“Life is too short to be living the dream of another” was one of his most celebrated phrases.
Hugh Hefner, founder and historical editor in chief of Playboy magazine, died due to natural causes on Wednesday, September 27, as confirmed by the publication in his Twitter account.
Born in Chicago in 1926, Hefner helped make the nude a part of the American collective imagination and built an entire media empire in the midst of the decades of sexual and cultural revolution in his country.
Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953, which became the best-selling adult magazine in the United States and a worldwide brand under the image of a rabbit with a bow tie.
In addition to his famous nudes and photographs of women – his first cover was Marilyn Monroe – Hefner’s publication became an editorial referent for his interviews with characters of public relevance.
“Life is too short to be living the dream of another,” was a quote from Hefner who played an important role in the change of attitude toward sexuality that took place in the twentieth century.
Master of marketing, Hefner’s ability for self-promotion made it impossible to unravel his image from that of his empire. “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice of some of the most important social and cultural movements of our time in the defense of freedom of expression, civil rights and sexual freedom,” he said. His son Cooper Hefner, creative chief of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement.
“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lies at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” he added.
Well past the retirement age, Hefner continued to take an active part in the editorial part of his magazine, choosing covers and the “bunny” every month. In the last stage of his life he also frequented nightclubs and kept a group of young brides, a lifestyle he made sure he kept him young in and out of the bedroom.
In an interview with AFP in 2003, Hefner said he would like to “be remembered as someone who had a positive impact on the changes in the social-sexual values of his time.” “And I think that position is pretty well assured,” he said then.
Playboy magazine announced in October 2015 that it would stop publishing photographs of women completely naked, indicating that these types of images were no longer true in the internet age, because pornography was within reach.
“The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year that Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, no longer looks like the current one,” said Playboy Enterprises chief executive Scott Flanders.
“Now you’re just a click away from all the sexual acts imaginable for free, so it’s a bit old-fashioned right now,” Flanders told The New York Times.
In mid-2016, the Playboy Mansion, home to legendary parties organized by Hefner, was sold to an American businessman, the son of a billionaire who bought the brand of Twinkie muffins.
According to the terms of the agreement, Hefner could continue to live until the end of his days in this celebrated house of Gothic style, valued at 200 million dollars.
Constructed in 1927 and purchased by Hefner in a million dollars in 1971, the property with pool with caverns and waterfalls symbolizes the excesses of Hollywood.
During their epic feasts, the guests mingled with the famous “bunnies“.
Elvis would have slept with eight ‘bunnies’ at a time in the 12-room house, while John Lennon burned a Matisse by neglecting his cigarette.
The building came when the magazine had just released its slightly more conventional formula, where the models were still naked, but their sex or their breasts were no longer visible frontally.
Featured Image Credit: Fox News
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