“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,” reads the official Playboy statement shared with People.
Hefner made history in 1953 when he published the very first issue of Playboy magazine, starring a nude Marilyn Monroe. He bought the highly controversial Playboy Mansion in 1971, where he lived with the various Playboy Bunnies until his death.
“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," his son Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, told People. "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."
Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal Harris, and his four children.