Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy magazine empire, died yesterday (9/27) at the age of 91.
Hefner, known for his hedonistic parties at the Playboy Mansion, and for his many romantic involvements, became a symbol of sexual liberation.
In an era when even SPEAKING of sex was unheard of, ‘Hef’ did not shy from making his libertine lifestyle public and often poke candidly in interviews about his love life.
“I’m not an active feminist, I’m an active humanist,” he said.
“I separated ways from the American feminist movement when they became anti-sexual. I believe embracing sexuality is a part of what it means to be free.”
Letterman pressed the Playboy mogul for details of his life in the mansion, asking him, “Is it just unbelievable wild sex all night long?” to which Mr. Hefner reassured his host, “We take time off from the wild sex to watch your show.”
Playboy was founded over 60 years ago and created a niche in upscale men’s magazine, combining images of nude women with in-depth articles, interviews and fiction by writers and subjects including Norman Mailer, Alex Haley, Bertrand Russell and Jimmy Carter.
Hefner reportedly founded the magazine with $600 and $1,000 borrowed from his mother. The first centerfold, a feature of the monthly magazine, was of Marilyn Monroe late in 1953.
The entrepreneur leaves behind four grown children (Christie, David, Marston and Cooper) and a 30-year-old widow, Crystal Harris.