The iconoclastic founder of the Playboy empire has died at home of natural causes, the magazine’s official Twitter account confirmed on Wednesday. He was 91.
Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with $600 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.
And his pioneering magazine, his biggest legacy, may have helped the buttoned-up America of the 1950s and early 1960s loosen up a little about sex.
“I would like to be remembered as somebody who has changed the world in some positive way, in a social, sexual sense, and I’d be very happy with that,” Hefner told CNN. “I’m a kid who dreamed the dreams and made them come true.”