Popular American founder of the international adult magazine Playboy, Hugh Hefner, has died at the age of 91, his company said late Wednesday.
Playboy magazine disclosed last night that Hefner died from natural causes “surrounded by loved ones” at his Playboy Mansion home in Beverly Hills.
He is survived by his 31-year-old wife, Crystal, and four grown children, Playboy said.
The silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy men’s magazine popularized the term “centerfold,” had glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
He founded Playboy in 1953 with $600 of his own money and built the magazine into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire that at its 1970s peak included TV shows, a jazz festival and a string of Playboy Clubs whose cocktail waitresses wore bunny ears and cottontails.
Hefner faced obscenity charges in 1963 for publishing and distributing Playboy, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
He had once claimed to have slept with more than 1,000 women, and credited the impotence drug Viagra with maintaining his libido.
“I am a kid in a candy store,” Hefner famously said. “I dreamed impossible dreams, and the dreams turned out beyond anything I could possibly imagine. I’m the luckiest cat on the planet.”