15 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Hugh Hefner

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Hugh Hefner was a driving force in the sexual revolution during the 1960’s. Hefner’s Playboy magazine and Playboy lifestyle changed how the world viewed sex forever.

Here are some interesting facts about Hugh Hefner that you may have not known! The Playboy founder and cultural icon was certainly an interesting man!


1. Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953, using a picture of a nude Marilyn Monroe, a $600 loan against his furniture and investments from family members to launch the magazine with a total of $8,000. It became one of the most talked-about publishing empires in history.


2. Hefner used the pages of his magazine to write lengthy articles fighting censorship and promoting various other libertarian causes.


3. He opened his first Playboy Club in Chicago in 1960. Eventually there were dozens of clubs as far as Japan and Jamaica and they featured the hottest entertainers of the time, such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Sonny & Cher. The clubs began closing in the late 1980’s amid escalating costs.


4. In 1985 Hefner suffered a stroke that left him temporarily partially paralyzed and unable to speak. He fully recovered.


5. From his six acre (2.5 hectares) Holmby Hills estate in Los Angeles, Hefner kept close tabs on the magazine. He had final say on the centerfold, cartoons and overall editorial direction.


6. Hefner arranged to be buried in a crypt next to the grave of Monroe in a Los Angeles cemetery.


7. Hefner reportedly drank as many as 36 bottles of Pepsi a day.


8. Hefner supported gay rights before it was acceptable to even acknowledge homosexuality in America. 

In 1955, Hefner published Charles Beaumont’s short science fiction story in, ‘The Crooked Man,’  in Playboy, which had been previously rejected by Esquire magazine for its controversial content. The story, set in a world in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexual men are condemned for their obscene attraction to the opposite sex, created quite the uproar.

In response to the angry letters and criticism, Hefner wrote, “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society then the reverse was wrong, too.”


9. At Playboy’s peak, Hefner’s net worth was said to be $200 million. 


10.  In August 2016, Hefner sold the famous mansion to 33-year-old Daren Metroupoulos for $100 million. Metroupoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co, purchased the home under the condition that Hefner would be allowed to remain in the residence for the remainder of his life, according to the LA Times. The outlet reported that Playboy Enterprises agreed to pay $1 million a year to lease the property.


11. Hefner purchased the Playboy Mansion in 1971 for roughly $1.1 million. The massive property even has a zoo license. 


12. Hefner had a very modest upbringing. Born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, he was the first child of Grace Caroline and Glenn Hefner, who were both teachers and strict Protestants from Nebraska.


13. Hefner has donated millions upon millions of dollars over the years to organizations such as the Democratic party, Autism Research and Film Schools. 


14. Hugh Hefner saved the famous Hollywood sign! In the 1970’s, the sign started to fall apart. Hefner stepped up and held a huge fundraiser. The fundraiser raised enough money to repair and maintain the sign.


15. Hefner was a virgin until the age of 22! After 22…he was unstoppable. 


Hugh Hefner passed away at the age of 91 from natural causes on September 28, 2017.