Hugh Hefner - Founder of Playboy magazine
April 9, 2001 -- Caricature shows Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy Empire. Reissued following his death on September 27, 2017, aged 91
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED March 9, 2001 -- It is difficult to find a photograph of Hugh Hefner that doesn’t portray him with a satisfied smirk on his face. And it’s hardly surprising really.
Here’s a man who has devoted his life to pleasure -- his own and other people’s -- and in the process turned himself into the world’s most envied multi-millionaire.
Hef, as he has long been known, launched Playboy almost 50 years ago, when he produced the first issue of the magazine on the kitchen table of his apartment in New York. It immediately sold 50,000 copies nationwide, and an entire lifestyle was born.
As he approaches his 75th birthday on April 9, Hef is not only the oldest swinger in town, but the figurehead of a multi-faceted Playboy empire that embraces magazines, clubs, and casinos, together with global television and movie production.
He enjoys a luxurious lifestyle in a huge Beverly Hills mansion, surrounded by peacocks, lavish gardens and beautiful models. He has been variously described as the man who revolutionised sex in the 20th century and America’s favourite bachelor.
But to most people he’s just lucky old Hef -- the man who lived the dream.
And Another Thing
Hef has a species of rabbit, the Sylvilagus palustris hefneri, named after him (Story: Mark Samms)