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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at the age of 91.
Hugh Hefner, who founded Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at the age of 91. AP

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine who went on to become an American icon, died Wednesday. He was 91.

The magazine confirmed Hefner’s death on Wednesday evening.

A representative for Hefner said in a statement to People Magazine that he “peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, surrounded by his loved ones.”

Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953 and turned it into one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

"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," Cooper Hefner, Playboy Enterprises' chief creative officer and Hugh's son, said in the statement issued by Playboy Enterprises announcing Hugh Hefner’s death.

"He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history," the younger Hefner said.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that Hefner “revolutionized publishing and helped usher in the sexual revolution.”

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