Hugh Hefner, the founder of America’s iconic men’s lifestyle magazine Playboy passed away on Wednesday, September 27. He was 91-years old. According to the Playboy Enterprises’ statement, Hefner died of natural causes at his Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California. Some remember Hugh Hefner for his contribution to LGBTQ rights and abortion rights while others criticise him for sexually exploiting women in the Playboy Mansion.
The Playboy founder’s son Cooper Hefner remembered his dad in a tribute praising him for pushing sexual freedom and free speech with the magazine. “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights, and sexual freedom,” said Cooper in a Playboy Enterprises statement.
Growing up in Playboy Mansion With Hugh being a womaniser and the regular legendary parties at the Beverly Hills mansion people might think that Hugh Hefner’s house can never be a place to raise a child, but Cooper disagrees. In 2015, in an interview, Cooper Hefner revealed what it was really like to grow up in the much-talked-about Playboy Mansion. He says that his childhood was much more sedate that people think. “It wasn’t as wild and there was an understanding that it was a household for kids. My parents separated when I was seven and bought the property next door and broke down the wall.” He further added, “I was spending my time at both houses, but the security here would sort of go on babysitter patrol and when the larger parties were thrown they would make sure that my brother and I stayed at the property next door.” He grew up in the mansion with his mother and Hugh’s second wife Kimberley Conrad, Playboy’s 1989 Playmate of the Year, and elder brother Marston. He also shared how the mansion had a private zoo full of exotic animals and his elementary school would often visit the property on field trips.
Sneak into the parties Though he lived in a house known for woman and parties, his parents made sure he and his brother were sheltered from all the partying. In an interview with Business Insider, Cooper reveals, “We weren’t participating when we were 12 years old at the Midsummer’s party at the Mansion but like any other 13-, 14-, 15-year-old, if you’re upstairs and your parents are having a Christmas party, you’re gonna sneak downstairs and try and figure out what’s going on and why you’re not invited to the party. Yeah, I had some of those nights.”
Stepping in father’s velvet shoes Cooper started working at the Playboy magazine at the age of 21 but was handed a leading role in July 2016. But when the magazine made the decision to stop publishing nude photographs he publicly disavowed and had a short absence from the work. But the decision of not publishing nude photographs saw the number of subscribers coming down. This was when Hugh decided to step down and Cooper took over. He was quoted saying, “I thought it was . . . a direct attack on what Dad has been fighting for his entire life — to normalise sexuality.” To prove this he had his fiancee and Harry Potter actress Scarlett Byrne strip down for the magazine’s March/April 2017 issue.