Hugh M. Hefner, the man who founded Play Boy Magazine and helped fortify it as a brand to be died on Wednesday at his Beverly Hills-area home, the Playboy Mansion, at age 91 and it is reported that he died of natural causes.
Hefner created Playboy magazine in 1953, which grew to become a symbol of the burgeoning sexual revolution in America in the mid-20th century and throughout the decades that followed, Hefner was a staple of pop culture, appearing as himself in films like The House Bunny, on television shows like ‘The Simpsons’ among others.
His constant appearances on E!’s unscripted show The Girls Next Door, which he co-created in 2005, helped make Hefner a mainstay of reality TV — and therefore a changing pop culture into his 80s. At its onset, the show followed Hefner and his three girlfriends, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson, as they lived together at the iconic Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.
In the 2010s, Hefner’s cultural visibility decreased, though he kept up operations at the magazine. He gave his son Cooper creative control of Playboy in 2016, a year after its controversial decision to stop publishing nude photos, which it later reversed.