Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91, according to Playboy Enterprises. Hefner died of natural causes in his home—the Playboy Mansion near Beverly Hills—late last night.

Hefner famously capitalized on the sexual revolution of the ‘50s and ‘60s when he founded Playboy Magazine, a publication that combined serious fiction and journalistic interviews with nude photos of women.

Since Playboy’s first issue in 1953, the magazine has inspired lively debate about whether Hefner’s work liberated women or degraded them. Even as the news of Hefner’s death spread through the internet last night, fans and critics debated whether the original “ladies man” provided women a new platform or just objectified them.

Hefner also touched many lives and made friends through his work at Playboy. A few of the Playboy bunnies and other women who spent time at his mansion shared his impact on their lives on Twitter. 

Other celebrities—spanning from Nancy Sinatra to Gene Simmons—also expressed their condolences throughout Wednesday night and this morning.

Hefner will be buried in Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles next to Marilyn Monroe, according to the New York Times. Memorial services have not yet been announced.

Tess Cagle

Tess Cagle

Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.