Publisher Hugh Hefner, 91, died September 27, 2018 at home in the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Hefner created Playboy magazine in 1953, and spun it into the Playboy Enterprises empire including clubs, TV, and book and magazine publishing. A revolutionary men’s magazine for its time, Playboy from the start featured not only nude females, but also articles and stories by notable authors, among them some of the best in the genre, including Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Charles Beaumont, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Algis Budrys, Arthur C. Clarke, Roald Dahl, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Doris Lessing, Richard Matheson, William F. Nolan, Robert Silverberg, and Kurt Vonnegut. Hefner was also very involved in the cartoons published for Playboy, often working personally with the cartoonists, among them Gahan Wilson with his frequently genre-oriented work, along with other notables such as Shel Silverstein and Jules Feiffer. Playboy Press published a number of anthologies of genre interest drawing on stories from the magazine, starting with the Bedside Playboy (1963) and The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1966); they added original novels and anthologies to their line from the 1970s to early 1980s.
Hugh Marston Hefner was born April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. Hefner married Mildred Williams in 1949 (divorced 1959); they had two children: Christie and David. He married Kimberley Conrad in 1989 (separated 1998) and they had two children (Marston Glenn and Cooper Bradford). His survivors include his third wife Crystal Harris, married in 2012, and his four children.