The man who revolutionized sexual freedom in the United States of America passed away in his Playboy Mansion at the age of 91 due to natural causes. Hugh Hefner was a symbol of the bachelor life and an incurable playboy himself. He built his empire from scratch, starting in publishing and later expanding on to Playboy Clubs. Hefner brought in the idea of a swinging singlehood in the United States of America at a time when marriage and domesticity reflected social status. Through his magazines, he portrayed the desire for sex as simple and acceptable as the desire for having an apple pie.
Hugh Hefner’s work changed the lifestyle of many men throughout a generation. At a time when a social man was considered as the one who was symbolised by lawn mowers and fishing nets, Hefner provided a different symbol altogether, the bunny in the tux. Martini glasses, cashmere sweaters and voluptuous girlfriends became the new standards of the social man. Hefner’s Playboy magazine is well-reputed to have been sold to millions of people “just for the articles” and the symbolism behind the Playboy is alive even today. His magazine not only contained steamy pictures of models, but also had a philosophy. The idea was to bring about the sexuality that was in chains.
The combination of the sexiness in the pictures and the intellectuality in the articles is what made Playboy one of the leading and best-selling magazines of its time. In the early 1970s, the magazine closed 7 million copies a month sales. According to Hefner, Playboy was for any man who was alert and active in his life. He described his ideal reader as a man of taste and refinement, who lived life to its hilt. Hugh Hefner has now been laid in a Westwood crypt, next to Marilyn Monroe, the first woman whose pictures helped him launch the magazine. As Hefner once said, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up.”