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Hugh Hefner dies at the Playboy mansion at age 91

28 September 2017

The Playboy founder's son has remembered his dad in a tribute praising him for being a trailblazer in pushing for free speech and sexual freedom with his magazine empire. He died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles, his son said in a statement.

The wide availability of adult content - on pay channels and online - made Playboy's pictorials "passé", the magazine noted when announcing that it was dispensing with nudity in 2015. Hefner's daughter, Christie, was CEO of Playboy Enterprises for more than 20 years.

"I tried the more traditional way of living life, but it really didn't work for me", he said.

Jenny McCarthy: RIP Hefner.

"I've lived out dreams and fantasies and played some part in changing the world", Hefner once told Vanity Fair. You will be greatly missed!

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Author and Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss recalled Hefner's words about his childhood, and Hefner telling his mother "Mom, anything that you may have done that was less than ideal was a blessing".

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"He came out onto the staircase landing and he looked down and there were about 12 of us bunnies there. I must be doing something right. you're all still so handsome'".

The man affectionately known as Hef created and guided the Playboy brand for half a century, helping to usher in the freewheeling '60s and making a mark on that decade's significant effect on movies, TV and pop culture.

Hefner, who told Esquire in 2013 that he bedded "over a thousand" women, said he was happy to have found a partner again "at this stage in life".

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Hefner would win civil liberties awards for his support of progressive social causes, and understood the importance of optics, inviting black guests to his televised parties at a time when much of the nation still had Jim Crow laws.

- "Hugh Hefner put me in Playboy & ignited my career. I am forever indebted, Hef", she tweeted. "You will forever live on as an icon of epic proportions." - actress and former Playboy model Donna D'Errico on Twitter.

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In a lengthy caption she credited Hugh with helping her rise to fame, noting: "I am me because of you".

And Hefner, who had been an aspiring cartoonist in his youth, also encouraged a new style of comedy.

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Hugh Hefner dies at the Playboy mansion at age 91