Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91

Hugh Hefner

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91.

He launched Playboy in 1953 with an issue that featured nude photos of actress and model Marilyn Monroe, and helped push along a revolution in views on sex as the magazine reached a peak of more than 7 million subscribers by the 1970s.

The company said Hefner died Wednesday of natural causes at his Playboy Mansion home in Los Angeles.

Beyond the magazine, the Playboy brand expanded into a multimedia empire that at various times included editions of the magazine in 20 countries, night clubs, casinos, a cable network and a film production company. In addition to nude pictures, the magazine also included writing from famous authors such as Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Vladimir Nabokov and Joyce Carol Oates.

Hefner himself starred for a five years in a reality TV show called “The Girls Next Door,” which followed his life at the Playboy Mansion along with some of the magazine models who lived at the site.

He was known for his style of silk pajamas paired with a smoking jacket and a pipe, and a hedonistic lifestyle that went along with the parties at his mansion.

Hefner was married three times and had four children.

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