by Jillian Felker – Entertainment Editor
The death of Playboy Magazines founder, iconic businessman, and influencer of the sexual revolution, Hugh Hefner came to the surprise of generations of readers. At the age of 91, Hefner died due to cardiac arrest and respiratory failure in his home, the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles on Sept. 27, as announced by the Playboy Enterprise. His legacy will be honored in the latest issue.
Hefner has been a success since the beginning of Playboy, which published its first issue in 1953 and featured the actress Marilyn Monroe as its first playmate, helping to support the initial release. At the time, Hefner was married to his first wife at the age of 27.
After the magazines initial release, in a later issue Hefner wrote an editorial about the lifestyle of jazz music, drinking, and sex, which not only shocked the public, but created an era of “premium boys style”, of a way of being a young, swinging, man who is indifferent to the bonds of social responsibility.
The atmosphere of the brand and Hefner himself helped to blossom the company and transform its image, despite the fact the Playboy brand was often frowned upon socially. By the 1960’s, Playboy’s circulation had reached one million, and peaked at about seven million by the 1970’s.
Cooper Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s 25-year-old son, has now assumed total creative control of the brand, and has brought the magazine back into the spotlight with recent news again, as it will soon welcome its first transgender Playmate. Changing the overall style of the magazine, the French Model, Ines Rau, who has already been featured in a past article from 2014 titled “Evolution”, will appear in the November/December centerfold spot, which will be available on Oct. 31.
Cooper Hefner told the New York Times that choosing Rau as the Playmate “speaks to the brand’s philosophy,” and said that “It’s the right thing to do.”