Hugh Martson Hefner was born on April 9, 1926. He was an American magazine publisher. Hefner was the world-revered founder and editor-in-chief of the sultry “Playboy” magazine. This extended to the franchise’s subsidiaries like clubs and reality television shows. Hefner was a celebrated bad boy who kept several partners in his mansion. He was an entrepreneur, visionary, and pioneer; all the more reasons to celebrate him on his special day today.
Hugh Marston Hefner
April 9, 1926
September 27, 2017 (age 91)
Even in death, Hugh Hefner remains a well-recognized name in Hollywood. His style, charisma, and devilishly good looks won the hearts of millions worldwide. He gave America its most-celebrated explicit magazine, which created milestones in the lives of citizens. Hefner was born on April 9, 1926, in Chicago. He was the first child of his parents, Glenn and Grace Swanson. Hefner grew up in a conservative, midwestern and methodist household. He was an Aries and of Swedish, German and English descent. Hefner’s parents wanted him to do missionary work, but he became a U.S. Army writer when he turned 18. In 1949, he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Psychology. He also double-minored in Creative Writing and Art.
Hefner got a copywriter job at “Esquire” but quit in 1952. In 1953, he took out a loan to launch “Playboy.” By December, the first issue featuring superstar actress Marilyn Monroe was released. Playboy’s first issue sold over 50,000 copies. Hefner’s magazine promoted a ‘bon vivant’ lifestyle. He hosted the television shows; “Playboy’s Penthouse” in 1959 and “Playboy After Dark” in 1969. Hefner made several appearances on TV shows including “The Simpsons” (1993), “Sex and the City” (2000), “Family Guy” (2007), and many more.
Hefner lived a full and rewarding life. He made millions off “Playboy” and was generous enough to donate to great causes. He died of sepsis from an E.coli infection on September 27, 2017, at the Playboy Mansion. Hefner had multiple lovers and was married thrice. Some of his lovers were featured on his show, “The Girls Next Door,” from 2005 to 2009. He had four children who succeeded him in his franchise.
Hefner turns in his resignation letter as a copywriter after being denied a $5 raise.
Hefner features a 1949 nude calendar shoot of Marilyn Monroe in the magazine’s first issue.
Hefner hosts the tv show "Playboy's Penthouse" for a year.
Hefner gets a lawsuit for promoting obscene literature in his magazine.
He announces his son, Cooper, as his successor on "Playboy."
Why We Love Hugh Hefner
He supported gay rights
Hefner published a story about homosexuals in his magazine, and when he received backlash, he doubled down on his support. He wasn’t discriminatory and supported the legalization of same-sex marriage in America.
He supported the Civil Rights Movement
Hefner openly advocated for the Civil Rights Movement. He organized interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King.
He revolutionized explicit imagery
Through his magazines, explicit images were made available and mainstream. He paved the way for pornographic channels today.
5 Surprising Facts
Playboy was to have a different name
When Hefner was soliciting investors for Playboy, he wanted the magazine to be called "Stag Party."
His mother didn’t believe in "Playboy"
Although she supported her son’s venture, Hefner’s mother didn’t believe in it.
He bought the crypt next to Monroe
After the success of "Playboy’s" first issue, Hefner bought a $75,000 crypt beside where Marilyn Monroe was laid to rest.
His first wife cheated on him
Hefner’s first wife admitted to cheating on him when he was in the army.
He is a descendant of William Bradford
Through his father’s lineage, Hefner was a descendant of Governor Bradford.
Hugh Hefner FAQs
Who received Hefner’s money?
Hefner’s estate was split between his four children.
How much was the Playboy mansion sold for?
The Playboy mansion was sold for $100 million.
How much did Hefner’s widow get?
Although Hefner kept many lovers, he was still legally married to his last wife, Crystal, who received a $7 million payout.
Hugh Hefner’s birthday dates