Hugh Hefner Awaits Burial Next to Marilyn Monroe
American sex icon and lifestyle branding master Hugh Hefner has passed away at the age of 91. Hefner will always be remembered as the founder of the Playboy media empire, one of the most successful lifestyle brands in the world, and as a man whose progressive sense of business paved the way for the sexual revolution. Hefner passed away at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles, precisely where he wanted to live his final days. His son Cooper, who is currently in charge of publishing Playboy magazine, explained that Hefner had not been feeling well over the last few days; preliminary reports indicate that he passed due to natural causes as he slept on Wednesday night.
Funeral and burial arrangements are currently underway; Hefner will be laid to rest next to another American sex icon, Marilyn Monroe, the first woman to grace the cover of Playboy magazine in the 1950s. Although Hefner and Monroe were never romantically linked, they shared a special bond as they shaped popular culture through the spark of sexuality. Hefner is survived by Crystal, his very young and attractive widow, by his three sons and by his daughter Christie, who was in charge of the Playboy brand during its most successful run in the late 20th century.
Hefner was a personal branding icon way before Donald Trump. The Playboy bunny logo can be attached to just about anything around the world and achieve instant recognition. He championed a life of hedonism; one of the most emblematic aspects of his life took place in 1963, when he ditched his business suit for pajama robes and moved his office into his mansion, specifically into his bedroom. He was married numerous times to multiple blondes various decades younger. Although he took a lot of flack from feminists who accused him of forging a media empire based on sexism and misogyny, many women who appeared in Playboy print and digital media will concede that their successful careers were launched thanks to Hefner.
Although Playboy magazine is immediately associated with naked women posing seductively for the camera, Hefner always made it a point to feature progressive and groundbreaking authors to pen exquisite articles, essays, critiques, and fiction. The Playboy interviews with former United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have been lauded as the most incisive ever conducted. The magazine itself has not accumulated many Pulitzer awards, but a few of its frequent authors have.
Within the Black community, Hefner is celebrated for his support of African Americans during the Civil Rights era, his early investment in Essence magazine, the opportunity he gave to African American writers, and his booking of entertainers such as Richard Pryor and Nat King Cole on his Playboy After Dark late night show in the 1970s.