Hugh Hefner, the founder and often controversial face of Playboy, has died at the age of 91, Playboy Industries has confirmed.
Playboy Magazine was founded by Hefner more than 60 years ago as an upscale men’s magazine, combining images of nude women with in-depth articles, literature and interviews.
When the first copy was released in 1953, it was instantly successful, then after this 50,000 issues being sold across America despite competition from established male-focused magazines such as Esquire.
He claimed to have had sex with more than 1000 women, many of them models who appeared in his magazine.
The first ever issue of Playboy featured a nude Marilyn Monroe on the cover.
Hefner attributed much of the immediate success to the inclusion of a nude picture of Marilyn Monroe. As a result, the pair had a very close relationship.
Since Hefner’s death, it has emerged that the millionaire will be buried next to Monroe in L.A.’s Westwood Village cemetery. Hefner reportedly bought the crypt back in 1992 for $75,000.
Other Hollywood celebrities to be buried at the famous cemetery include Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, and Truman Capote.
Playboy has offered a statement on the death: “Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognisable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones. He was 91 years old.”
Hefner’s Playboy fortune sits at an estimated $43 million.