Hugh Hefner, the ultimate playboy who frolicked through life long enough to become an icon in his own time, died Wednesday night at the age of 91.Playboy Enterprises announced Hefner’s death on Twitter at 8:13 p.m. PT and released a statement saying Hefner died at his home of natural causes surrounded by family.Shortly after, Hefner’s son Cooper released a statement recalling his father’s “exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer.”Even in death, Hef retains his rakish savoir faire: In 1992, he paid $75,000 to obtain the vault next to Marilyn Monroe, thereby ensuring he could spend eternity with Playboy’s first cover girl.Hugh Marston Hefner was the unlikeliest of skin-trade revolutionaries. Raised in Chicago under the watchful eyes of conservative parents, a hormonal Hefner quickly found that his average looks could be overcome by a burgeoning talent for cartooning and an innate desire to challenge buttoned-down 1950s conventions.Hefner first learned his way around a magazine as a copywriter for Esquire. But when he was denied a raise there, he sold what little furniture he had and laid the foundation for a publishing empire.In 1953, a time when states could legally ban contraceptives, when the word “pregnant” was not allowed… Read full this story
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