There was a man whose name almost everyone knew, young and old, alike, that was Hugh Hefner. Think about it, depending on your age and on your lifestyle, somewhere somehow you heard that name. In this article we will sum up his role and why everyone is writing about it.
Hugh Hefner was one of many who participated in the sexual revolution of the 50/60’s. Although thinking better about that list – as a meaningful businessman, there was Heff and he stands apart. This is why. In 1953 he took $8,000 USD which today would be $72,339 and started Playboy.
Let’s take a minute to think of what was happening in 1953?
- American President Harry Truman tells the American People about the hydrogen bomb we have created.
- An Earthquake hits Eastern Turkey killing 250 people.
- The first James Bond novel was published by Ian Flemming.
- Hussein is crown King of Jordan.
- An F5 tornado in Waco killed 114 people.
- The Soviet Union detonates a thermonuclear weapon. Joseph Stalin dies – (1878-1953).
- Finally, Hugh Hefner published the first Playboy Issue. This features Marilyn Monroe as the nude centerfold., it sells 54,175 copies at $.50 each, catapulting Hugh Hefner into a league all his own.
Imagine the turmoil and the uncertainty of the time, all around the world. WWI is over more than a generation ago and now this. Tensions are high, the Soviets have a nuclear weapon, but then again, the US does as well. It is a time of danger and excitement as well as terror and uncertainty.
Spy novels about the ultimate spy – James Bond, the risk was contagious. Hugh could not have picked a more important time in history to launch his project. A classy magazine that would educate and beautify the world. Allowing those who lived in these uncertain times some escape.
There is no denying that openly selling couture pornography was a very risky move, but people were also tired of the old. There will always be that young blood that yearns for change, something different than their parents had. This was it! Remember this was also when rock and roll was being created, it was a very groovy and invigorating time.
Hugh was a rebel, there is no doubt about it. How do you tell your parents you want to sell magazines of naked women? But he did, he took that leap and for better or for worse, he decided to live and promote the unconventional lifestyle that made him so iconic. He married three times and had four children and when he died he was married to Crystal Harris Heffner, whom he had married in 2012 and was 60 years his junior.
Hugh was an advocate for living your life the way you wanted to, he was very controversial on a multitude of movements of the eras to follow. He was an advocate for civil rights, free speech, sexual freedom, was a huge contributor in Rowe Vs. Wade and above all, had a deep appreciation for beauty. He believed that women in all their glory should be able to display what they have if they choose to, period. What was his role? He gave them the platform on which they could express themselves freely and without shame.
Some of the women that graced the centerfold/cover of this magazine might surprise you. Women like Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Streisand, Cindy Crawford, Farrah Fawcett and the list goes on. Women were taking back their power, they were liberating themselves and he was an integral part of that process for a lot of very influential women. I believe this goes hand in hand with the saying, especially considering the time: Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll. Playboy was the sex in that very common phrase.
Hugh Died at the age of 91, he had an extraordinary life and whether you are a fan because of his historical relevance to the world we live in today or just because a small part of you is rebellious and you like to go against the status quo, he was one of a kind.
What are your thoughts?