Hugh Hefner was born on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Even at school age, he began to show interest in journalism – first he drew illustrations in comics called “School Daze”, and later also founded a school newspaper.
In 1944, Hugh Hefner was enlisted in the ranks of the US Army. The future millionaire served as a clerk and was published in military newspapers.
After serving in the Army, Hugh Hefner continued his studies at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It was during his student years that he became interested in publishing.
In June 1949 Hefner married a classmate Mildred Williams, with whom he had two children – daughter Christie and son David. In 1957, the couple divorced.
In 1951, Hugh Hefner took a job in the Esquire magazine, but a year later resigned because of a refusal to raise his salary. After that, the man began to collect money to create his own magazine.
To found his own magazine, Hefner turned to his friends and relatives for help and managed to get a loan of 8,000 dollars. And in 1953 the light saw the first number of his brainchild.
Thanks to the photo of nude Marilyn Monroe, the first issue of the magazine was a huge success – more than 50,000 copies were sold out.
To somehow highlight his magazine among others, Hefner came up with the already iconic rabbit logo, which was used from the second edition.
In 1955, the magazine published an article by Charles Balmont “Crooked Man” – a story about the problems that people face in the supposedly fictional society of people with non-traditional orientation. This caused a public outcry, to which Hefner replied that it is wrong to pursue people with non-traditional orientation.
June 4, 1963, Hugh Hefner was arrested because of photos of a nude American actress Jane Mansfield, who appeared in one of the issues of his magazine. However, the charges were dropped from him, since the jury could not make a verdict.
The success of the magazine and the communication with the rich and beautiful women made Hefner mega popular in the 1960s. When the circulation of the magazine exceeded one million copies a month, Hugh expanded his empire through private clubs, resorts, model agencies and a number of other media.
By 1971, Hefner’s corporation, whose profit at that time was more than $ 10 million, became public.
In the same 1971, for more than 1 million dolar Hefner bought a villa, where luxury parties were held with the participation of the most popular models of the magazine and celebrities. In June 2016, the house was sold for $ 100 million to Daren Metropoulos, co-owner of the company-owner Twinkies. According to the terms of the deal, Hefner could stay there until the end of his days.
The November issue of the magazine for 1972, on the cover of which was the photo model Pam Rawlings, and with Lena Sederberg inside, became a real bestseller – over 7 million copies were sold worldwide.
In the mid-1970s, because of the economic downturn and fierce competition from other journals such as Penthouse, difficult times began for Hefner’s corporation. As the turnover significantly decreased, the company had to cut costs and focus exclusively on the journal.
In 1978, Hugh Hefner founded a jazz festival named after his magazine, which is attended by the best jazz artists from around the world.
In 1980, Hugh Hefner was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
After a microstroke in 1985, Hugh quit smoking and began a less busy lifestyle, although he remained the editor-in-chief of the magazine. And in 1988 the millionaire decided to appoint his daughter Christy as the general director of the corporation.
On July 1, 1989, Hefner married the model Kimberly Conrad. The couple had two sons – Marston and Cooper, but in 1998 Kimberly and Hugh parted, although officially divorced in 2009.
After an official divorce with his second wife, Hugh began to date with the musician and model Crystal Harris. In 2010, the couple became engaged, but the engagement was broken the following year. Only after another year, on December 31, 2012, Hefner officially bound himself by marriage to Crystal.
Hugh Hefner is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for two records: for the longest career as editor in chief and for the largest collection of personal scrapbooks.
In recent years, on the cover of Hugh Hefner’s magazines such celebrities as Madonna, Kate Moss, Jenny McCarthy, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Drew Barrymore and Nancy Sinatra has been seen. A photo of the former star of Rescuers Malibu Pamela Anderson appeared 12 times.
Throughout his career, Hefner received several awards, including the International Publishing Prize in London. In addition, he was included in the Hall of Fame of the American Society of Journal Editors in 1998.
In October 2015, Hefner and the current chief content manager of the publication Corey Jones decided not to publish naked images of women in the magazine, which meant a radical change for publication.
Hugh Hefner took an active part in charity events – he donated money to the development of cinematographic art, to create a studio for studying American cinema … He attached such importance to the cinema that he donated 900 thousand dollars to purchase the land needed to establish the famous inscription “Hollywood”.
In 2010, the founder and president of the “Children of the Night” – the most developed social program in North America to help children – Dr. Lois Lee awarded Hefner the first-ever statuette “Hero of the Heart” for his unswerving devotion and generosity.
After the death of Hugh Hefner at the head of his father’s empire there will be the youngest son of the deceased – Cooper Hefner. He is young, rich, handsome and already engaged!