Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, has died. He was 91.
The company confirmed the news in a statement, saying he “peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones.”
His son Cooper Hefner, Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, paid tribute to his dad, saying, “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… He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises."
Hefner will be buried next to Marilyn Monroe. In 1992, he bought the crypt next to Monroe for a reported $75,000. He told CBS five years ago, "I will be laid to rest in a vault next to hers. It has a completion notion to it. I will be spending the rest of my eternity with Marilyn.”
Hefner launched Playboy in Chicago in 1953 and went on to build the company into the global brand Playboy Enterprises, with more than $1 billion in sales annually.
For more than 45 years, Hugh Hefner was surrounded by celebrities at the Playboy Mansion.
Some of the big names to party at the mansion include Charlie Sheen, Bill Maher, Pamela Anderson and Snoop Dogg.
After the sad news, many celebrities took to social media to mourn Hugh's death, including Pamela Anderson, who posted a tearful video. Watch.
Goodbye #Hef Mr Hefner I have so many thoughts, I have no brain n right now to edit I am me because of you You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. Outside of my family You were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life... People tell me all the time That I was your favorite... I'm in such deep shock. But you were old, your back hurt you so much. Last time I saw you You were using a walker. You didn't want me to see. You couldn't hear. You had a piece of paper in your pocket you showed me - with my name Pamela with a heart around it. Now, I'm falling apart. This feeling is so crazy. It's raining in Paris now. I'm by the window. Everything anyone loves about me is because you understood me. Accepted me and encouraged me to be myself. Love like no one else. Live recklessly With unfiltered abandon. You said the magazine was about a girl like me. That I embody the spirit you fantasized about. I was the one. You said. I can hear you say - Be brave. There are no rules. Live your life I'm proud of you. There are no mistakes. And with men - Enjoy ... (Your wonderful laugh) You have the world by the tail You are a good girl And you are so loved - You are not crazy. You are wild and free Stay strong, Stay vulnerable. ... "It's movie time" You loved my boys ... You were always, always there for us. With your love Your crazy wisdom. I will miss your everything. Thank you for making the world a better place. A freeer and sexier place. You were a gentleman charming, elegant, chivalrous And so much fun. Goodbye Hef ... Your Pamela 💋
See more reactions below.
RIP to the legendary Hugh Hefner! I’m so honored to have been a part of the Playboy team! You will be greatly missed! Love you Hef! Xoxo— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 28, 2017
I met Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion. He was very nice to my mom. Don't ask. #RIPHef— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) September 28, 2017
I had a number of great conversations and with Hugh Hefner. Was such an interesting man. True legend. What an end of an era!— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) September 28, 2017
Hugh Hefner was a GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights. He was a true original, and he was my friend. Rest well Hef. pic.twitter.com/bJ1wxoK4gR— Larry King (@kingsthings) September 28, 2017