“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” a rep for the family told People.
Hugh Hefner has passed away, confirms his family in a statement mourning the sad loss of an "American icon."
The 91-year-old passed away from "natural causes" in the Playboy mansion surrounded by his closest family and friends. Hefner is survived by his five children, his eldest son Cooper is CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
"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," Cooper said in a statement.
"He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston."
Hefner rose to fame following the publication of the first issue of Playboy in 1953 which featured a nude Marilyn Monroe.