Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died today at age 91, the publication announced via its Twitter feed. The Playboy homepage featured a photo of the Holmby Hills resident smoking a pipe. It quotes him saying, “Life is too short to be living someone else's dream.”
According to reports, he may have died in his sleep at the estate known as the Playboy Mansion.
Hefner started the publication in 1953 and soon tapped into an appetite among American men for nudity and the quintessential “Hef” girl, blonde and shaped like a Corvette of the same year.
The physical embodiment of the publication was the Playboy Club, established in the magazine's hometown of Chicago and a virtual boys' club with cigars and women in bunny tails.
The magazine aspired to literature, or at least literary journalism, and Hefner made some social amends by becoming a supporter of civil rights and a financial backer of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition.
Decades after Hefner moved to L.A., the publication announced, in 2011, that it was following suit. Last year it was announced that Hef's Playboy Mansion, site of so many parties, had been sold to his next-door neighbor for $100 million. The catch was that Hefner was to stay until he died.