“I never intended to be a revolutionary. My intention was to create a mainstream men’s magazine that included sex in it. That turned out to be a very revolutionary idea.”
– Hugh Hefner
Say what you want about Hugh Hefner, the man changed the world.
After mortgaging his furniture for $600 and raising $8,000 from 45 investors, Hugh Hefner launched Playboy, a sophisticated magazine “focused really on the romantic connection between the sexes from a male point of view,” he once said. Thanks in large part to an inaugural issue that featured a nude photo of Marilyn Monroe on the cover, Playboy was an instant success. By 1959, Hefner was leading a jet set lifestyle as one of the most recognizable magazine editors in the world. Though his first marriage collapsed around this time, business was booming, as Hef began hosting the television show Playboy’s Penthouse and launched the Playboy Club, a chain of exclusive nightclubs where men of a certain stature could live out the Playboy fantasy.
Based on Hugh Hefner’s upbringing, you’d think he’d have grown up to be a priest, not a playboy. The Chicago-born son of ultraconservative parents Glenn and Grace, both teachers, was raised in a household where displays of affection were scarce. But as a student at Chicago’s Steinmetz High School in 1940, Hefner slowly emerged from his shell, discovering the pleasures of dancing and, of course, women. He was 16 when he first fell in love, a movie theater usher who had fallen for a drugstore clerk. But after high school — where he excelled at activities like journalism, drawing animation and serving as president of the student council — Hefner joined the army as a writer for the military newspaper before being honorably discharged. After the army, Hefner graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in psychology with a double minor in creative writing and art before going on to work as a copywriter at Esquire. But in 1952, when Hefner was denied a $5 raise after three years with the magazine, he left with the intention of starting a publication of his own.
Thank goodness he was denied that raise because Hugh went on to change the face of pop culture, Forever!
“Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.”
“The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”
“It was risky enough that I didn`t put my name on the first issue.”
“Playboy was founded on the notion that nice girls like sex too.
“There have been three great inventions in the history of mankind; fire, the wheel and Playboy.”
“Stay in touch with the boy who dreamed the impossible.”