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Marston Hefner (born April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois),
also referred to colloquially as "Hef,"
is the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine.
He has become an icon of American sexuality and a
charismatic spokesman for the sexual revolution and
grew up "in a very typically Methodist repressed
home" with "no show of affection of any
kind". He went to Sayre Elementary School, and
Steinmetz High School, then served in the U.S. Army
during the closing months of WWII.
his service, he majored in psychology at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and resumed his relationship
with Mildred Williams. Despite spending less than
three years in college before graduating, Hefner found
time to edit the magazine Shaft, and sold cartoons
to magazines. His first salaried job was with a firm
that produced and printed cardboard cartons.
1949, Hefner also completed a semester of graduate
courses in sociology at Northwestern University where
he wrote a term paper examining U.S. sex laws in light
of the newly published Kinsey Institute research on
male human sexuality (according to the Playboy website).
married fellow Northwestern student Mildred Williams
on June 25, 1949 and had two children, Christie and
David Paul (b. 30 August 1955). Christie is Chairperson
of Playboy Enterprises. Mildred and Hugh divorced
after ten years of marriage in 1959.
serving in the subscription department and as a copywriter
for Esquire, he left in January 1952 after being denied
a $5 raise. He worked at Children's Activities, then
took his biggest gamble in 1953 by lending his furniture
for $600 and raising $10,000 from 45 investors - including
$1,000 from his mother ("Not because she believed
in the venture," he told E! in 2006. "But
because she believed in her son.") - to launch
In 1953, the idea of the centerfold came about because
of the need for a copy machine in the magazine's offices.
A female employee named Charlaine Karalus made the
request, with Hefner offering to purchase it if the
well-endowed Karalus would pose naked. Accepting the
offer, Karalus became "Janet Pilgrim" in
the July issue and started the centerfold tradition
that continues to the present.
was involved in his first legal dispute around pornography
when in 1958 when he, a teenager named Elizabeth Ann
Roberts, and her mother were arrested in Chicago after
photos of Roberts appeared in Playboy. After authorities
realized that Hefner had been told she was 18 years
old, charges of contributing to the delinquency of
a child were dropped.
At its peak, Playboy sold more than 5,200,000 issues
each month. Hefner's concept exploded as a variety
of different avenues opened up. A late-night television
program, "Playboy After Dark," premiered;
conversation among urbane guests its main selling
point. In addition, the show featured prominent African-American
performers. These singers and musicians, as well as
comedians such as Lenny Bruce and Dick Gregory made
the show a unique viewing experience.
first Playboy Jazz Festival took place in the state
of Rhode Island in 1979 and has become a staple for
the most prominent musicians in the field.
1960, Hugh Hefner opened up the first Playboy Club
in Chicago, which featured women in bunny costumes
serving drinks to customers who listened to many of
the same guests that populated Hefner's television
show. In less than two years, the number of clubs
had expanded to 12, with over 125,000 patrons paying
either $25 for a charter membership or $50 for a lifetime
membership. During the 1980s, the Clubs folded and
Playboy lost its casino licenses in Atlantic City
and the UK. Hefner suffered a stroke in 1985. Three
years later, he passed control of Playboy's business
operations to his daughter Christie.
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their wedding, Mildred told Hefner that she had had
an affair; he has called the admission "the most
devastating moment of my life." A 2006 E! THS
profile of Hefner revealed she let him cheat on her,
both in the hopes it would preserve their marriage
and out of guilt for her infidelity.
his first marriage, Hefner became the world's most
famous and envied womanizer. He has said that during
some years, he was "'involved' with maybe eleven
out of twelve months worth of Playmates."
Hefner has had sustained relationships with Donna
Michelle, Marilyn Cole, Lillian Muller, Patti McGuire,
Terri Welles,Yazmin King, Shannon Tweed, and Brande
Roderick, all of whom were chosen "Playmate of
the Year". Other noteworthy attachments include
Barbi Benton, Karen Christy, ex-Sunday school teacher
Sondra Theodore, and actress Carrie Leigh, who filed
a $35 million palimony suit against him. Benton remains
a fixture in Hefner's life and a regular visitor to
the Playboy Mansion, which she found for him.
July 1, 1989, he ended his 36-year bachelor party
and married Kimberley Conrad, that year's Playmate
of the Year. They separated in 1998, though have yet
to divorce. While Hefner was monogamous, the THS profile
suggested that Conrad was not.
had 4 children, 2 children with each wife: Christie
Hefner; born in 1952, David Hefner; born 1955, Marston
Hefner; born 1990, and Cooper Hefner; born 1991. In
1988, Christie was declared the "heir apparent".
In January 2007, Hefner announced that he is considering
having another child; this time with his current girlfriend,
Holly Madison whom he will be naming Will after
his dearest friend Will Sampson (a film student at
his separation from Conrad, Hefner began living with
an ever-changing number of women, ranging in age from
18 to 28. He told Vanity Fair: "And here's the
surprise bitit's what they want!" Soon,
Hef assembled another coterie of girlfriends: Sandy
and Mandy Bentley (twins), Jessica Paisley, and Brande
Roderick who had the distinction of being the primary
girlfriend. But in 2000 she left to take a role in
popular series Baywatch. Hefner soon selected 27-year-old
Yazmin King as his primary girlfriend. This might
not have gone over so well with the other three as
they left shortly thereafter. But Hefner quickly selected
more young blondes for a posse of seven girlfriends,
one of whom was Holly Madison who joined in 2001.
In 2002 Tina had other interests to pursue and asked
Holly to succeed her as primary, which she gladly[citation
needed] did. Shortly after Playboy's 50th anniversary
five of the girlfriends left, leaving Holly and Bridget
Marquardt to tend to Hefner. But in 2004 Kendra Wilkinson
(also blonde, aged 18) was asked to move into the
Mansion to become girlfriend number 3. The 2005-06
E! reality television series The Girls Next Door follows
these three girlfriends, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt
and Kendra Wilkinson in their life with Hef around
the Mansion and on travel.
urban legend persists about Hefner and the Playmate
of the Month related to markings on the front covers
of the magazine. From 1955 to 1979 (except for a six
month gap in 1976), the "P" in Playboy had
a number of stars printed in or around the letter.
The legend claims that this was either a rating that
Hefner gave to the Playmate according to how attractive
she was, the number of times that Hefner had slept
with her, or how good she was in bed. Another rumor
was that if the stars were inside the "P",
Hefner had slept with the Playmate, while if they
were outside, he didn't sleep with her. In reality,
the stars, which ranged in number between zero and
twelve, had nothing whatsoever to do with Hefner sleeping
with the Playmate of the Month, and were solely used
to indicate the domestic or international advertising
region for that particular printing.
Hefner has always espoused a shared liberal/libertarian
stance in his editorials and in his life. On June
4, 1963, Hefner was arrested for selling obscene literature
after an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of
actress Jayne Mansfield was released. Six months later,
a jury was unable to reach a verdict.
Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards were created
by daughter Christie in 1979 "to honor individuals
who have made significant contributions in the vital
effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights
and his family have donated and raised great amounts
of money for the Democratic Party.
Served in the US Army during WWII.
Hugh Hefner graduated from the University of Illinois
in 1949 with a major in psychology and a double minor
in creative writing and art. He claims that some of
the ideas for the Playboy magazine came while he was
a student there.
Sunday, Friday, and Monday night at the Playboy Mansion
Hefner hosts a movie night. He has an elaborate collection
of films in a library off of his bedroom.
stuff that dreams are made of," a favorite quote
Hefner often uses to refer to the success of Playboy,
comes from Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon;
both are misquotations from Act IV, Scene I of Shakespeare's
The Tempest ("We are such stuff as dreams are
a 2005 interview with Time magazine, Hefner said he
is a direct descendant of William Bradford, a Pilgrim
who came over on the ship Mayflower.
has been reported that Hefner has either a room or
floor to himself in the Drake Hotel.
In a TV documentary, Hefner stated that he was a virgin
when he went into the Army and a virgin when he got
out. He lost his virginity at age 22.
purchased the crypt in the Westwood Village Memorial
Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, beside Marilyn
has appeared in The Simpsons in the episode Krusty
Gets Kancelled, which also included other guest stars
such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
a subspecies of rabbit named in his honor (Sylvilagus
is noted for smoking a tobacco pipe. His pipes of
choice are Dunhill.
first professional movie was Roman Polanski's film
adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, where he served
as the executive producer. (Credit:
The Playboy Mansion (Game)
to settle down? - The Age - 1st February 2007
breasts and bunny ears - 8th September 2003