Los Angeles: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men’s magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, died on Wednesday at the age of 91, Playboy Enterprises said.
Hefner was sometimes characterized as an oversexed Peter Pan as he kept a harem of young blondes that numbered as many as seven at his legendary Playboy Mansion. This was chronicled in “The Girls Next Door,” a TV reality show that aired from 2005 through 2010. He said that thanks to the impotency-fighting drug Viagra he continued exercising his libido into his 80s.
Hefner settled down somewhat in 2012 at age 86 when he took Crystal Harris, who was 60 years younger, as his third wife.
After suffering a minor stroke in 1985, Hefner made daughter Christie chief executive officer of Playboy Enterprises and she gave the business a makeover before stepping down in 2009. Hefner’s son, Cooper, who was nearly 40 years younger than Christie, assumed a major role in the company in 2014.
Playboy magazine, starting with its March 2016 issue, did away with full frontal nudity in a rebranding that would have been unimaginable in the publication’s heyday.