Magnum Photos Blog
Ajax loader
From the Archive
Hugh Hefner: 1926-2017
October 2, 2017
by Magnum Photographers
Hugh Hefner, the notorious founder of the Playboy Empire, died on September 27, 2017. He was 91. He was synonymous with the magazine he launched in 1953 and turned into a multimillion dollar empire. Playboy Magazine, which he started at the age of 27, just months after moving out of his parents home, was an instant success, reaching a million subscribers by 1960. Outfitted in burgundy silk pajamas, he stood at the vanguard of the sexual revolution in America as the country transitioned out of its puritanical post war era; but was also a frequent target of feminists and cultural conservatives who found his business ventures demeaning towards women. But over half a century since its founding, the impact of Playboy on American culture - from the legendary Playboy Mansion and its hedonistic soirées to the magazine that broke all the rules of polite society - cannot be denied.

Click here to access the images for licensing requests and lightbox editing.