Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died Wednesday, his company confirmed in a statement. He was 91.
"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," son Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement. "He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history."
Born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, Hefner launched Playboy Enterprises Inc., a media and lifestyle brand, in 1953, and that December, the first Playboy was published, featuring a nude Marilyn Monroe. Hefner was known for the parties he threw at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and the iconic Playboy bunny icon, and later in life, he appeared on the E! reality show Girls Next Door, which followed three Playmates and their lives at the mansion. He is survived by his wife, Crystal, and children Christie, David, Marston, and Cooper.