An era has come to an end today when legendary publisher and all-around man’s man Hugh Hefner passed away at his iconic Playboy Mansion. Hefner, known to most simply as “Hef” started the groundbreaking adult magazine in 1953 at the age of 27 with little more than a dream and $8,000 he’d scraped together to publish the first issue, which he put together himself in his home. The first issue featured an old nude photo of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe and sold a surprising 50,000 copies. From those humble beginnings, a powerhouse publication, and for many, a lifestyle, was born. The magazine always featured tasteful nudity, but that was never the sole focus, and Hefner believed that’s what set Playboy apart from the competition, which often featured more graphic photos and much less substance between them. Instead, the magazine relied on humor and insightful, provocative articles to keep readers turning after they’d checked out the beauties contained within the glossy pages.
As his empire grew, Hef procured what would become his forever home in 1971, using it only to host his infamously lavish parties until 1974, when he moved into the 21,000 square foot residence full time. Throughout his life, Hefner would continue to use the name of his magazine as a guide for his lifestyle, living a life most every man is envious of. From the massive soirees to the luxurious rides, and obviously the gorgeous women, Hefner truly lived a full life in his 91 years.
Among his prized vehicles that passed through his service through the years, the 1972 Mercedes Pullman seen in the photo and video below, along with his 1959 Mercedes 300SL convertible, seen in the photo above. While the Pullman is now part of a museum collection, Hefner still owned the 300SL, which he drove on “Playboy’s Penthouse”, Hef’s short lived variety show that ran in the late 1950’s.
According to early reports, Hefner passed away from natural causes after dealing with what was described as “declining health” for some time. He is survived by his wife, Crystal Harris and four children; sons Cooper, Marston and David and daughter Christie. He has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.