Hugh Hefner is a famous American businessman, who was born on the 9th of April 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Glen and Grace Hefner. His father had German and English ancestry. His mother was of Swedish descent. He went to Sayre Elementary School and Steinmetz High School, and then served as a writer for a military newspaper in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946.
He later graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a B.A. in psychology with a double minor in creative writing and art in 1949, earning his degree in two and a half years.
In June of that same year, Hefner married one of his classmate, Mildred Williams. Their ten-year marriage produced two children: Christie in 1952 and David in 1955.
He is a man who has intensely influenced society in the last fifty years while his publication remains the world’s best-selling men’s lifestyle magazine.
He is a well known producer, known for The House Bunny (2008), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and The Girls Next Door (2005) and the creator and publisher of Playboy Magazine.
Between 1959 and 1974 the hub of the Playboy universe was located at 1340 North State Parkway, Chicago, IL 60610 (USA), just a block away from the Cardinal’s residence. Playboy exploits sex the way Sports Illustrated exploits sports.
The first issue sold more than fifty thousand copies and thus began the impressive life of Hefner and his globally notorious magazine which featured a famous photograph of Marilyn Monroe. Playboy now is the leading men’s magazine in the world, circulating more than three million copies in the U.S. and 4.5 million worldwide.
The magazine contains award-winning fiction and investigation articles, in-depth interviews with gorgeous women and celebrities, and of course women and sex.
In 1963, Hefner was arrested for selling obscene literature after an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of Jayne Mansfield was released. Fortunately the jury was unable to come to a verdict, and Hefner walked.
At the start of the new decade, Hefner began to live out the “Good Life” depicted in the pages of his publication. Throughout the Sixties, Hefner and Playboy became what Chicago columnist Bob Greene has called “a force of nature.”
Hefner wrote an extended series of editorials titled The Playboy Philosophy, championing the rights of the individual and challenging our heritage of Puritan repression.
In 1975, Hefner decided to make Los Angeles his permanent home, reflecting the extent to which Hollywood movies had influenced his dreams and aspirations as a boy. In 1980, Hefner championed the reconstruction of the Hollywood sign, then in serious disrepair, and was honoured by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his efforts.
In saving the sign, Hefner referred to it as “Hollywood’s Eiffel Tower.” The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honoured him further with its first Annual Hollywood Hall of Fame Award as Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
On March 28, 1996, Hefner was honoured in formal ceremonies at USC for his lifelong dedication to film and his endowment of a chair for the Study of American Film at the University’s School of Cinema-Television.
The Hefner gift marked only the second such endowment in the history of the prestigious film school. The other chair was endowed in memory of the late Steve Ross, who had served as chairman of Time-Warner.