Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has passed away at 91

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Hugh Hefner has passed away at the age of 91. He passed away at his LA home, the Playboy Mansion, from natural causes. He is survived by his wife Crystal Hefner (God, I forgot they got married) and his four children, Christie, Cooper, David and Marston Hefner. Christie Hefner, the oldest of his children, was the CEO of Playboy Enterprises until 2009. Cooper is Chief Creative Officer. Cooper Hefner released a statement:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises,” said Cooper Hefner, his son and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises.

[From People]

While Hef no longer had much to do with the daily business of running Playboy Enterprises, his legacy at the company was felt by all. Whatever else you can say about Hef, please acknowledge that he was one of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Within the pages of Playboy, he nurtured the careers of many of the most iconic and talented writers, editors and photographers ever. He was one of the most strident defenders of the First Amendment. He was a vocal advocate for birth control, reproductive rights across the board, civil rights, racial equality, LGBT rights, and many liberal/progressive causes over the course of decades. His legacy is complicated, of course – he built an empire out of objectifying and fetishizing women, and the Girls Next Door era of Hef’s life probably wasn’t his best. Still, Hef was an icon, a pioneer and an iconoclast.

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Photos credit: WENN, PRPhotos, Pacific Coast News

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