Hugh Hefner, the pipe-smoking, pajama-wearing founder of the Playboy empire — and exemplar of its lifestyle — died Wednesday of natural causes at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles, according to a representative. He was 91.

Hugh Hefner - Photo Credit: Glenn Francis / PR Photos

Hugh Hefner – Photo Credit: Glenn Francis / PR Photos

Hugh Hefner was born on April 9th, 1926 in Chicago.
He founded Playboy in 1953 and made an instant splash by featuring Marilyn Monroe as the centerfold of his first issue.

playboy first issue cover
Hef’s extravagant lifestyle — exemplified through the legendary Playboy mansion and the TV show The Girls Next Door — was the fantasy of men (and women) everywhere.
Hefner had multiple girlfriends through his life — including a set of twins — but was married only twice.
Hugh Marston Hefner was an aspiring cartoonist in Chicago in 1953 when he raised $8,000 from 45 investors — including his mother — to start a men’s magazine. He picked up some nude pictures of Marilyn Monroe taken when she was a starlet to use as his first centerfold. By the time the first issue hit newsstands, Monroe was a star and Playboy was an instant sensation. In that issue, Hefner laid out the Playboy philosophy, writing, “We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex… If we are able to give the American male a few extra laughs and a little diversion from the anxieties of the Atomic Age, we’ll feel we’ve justified our existence.”
Playboy’s mix of highbrow fiction, interviews with artistic and political movers and shakers, and shopping guides to the good life — all chased with a strong dose of nudity, sex advice and suggestive humor — soon typified a lifestyle for the 1950s male. And Hef did his best to embody that lifestyle. With a succession of Playboy mansions, he threw exclusive shindigs that, like his magazine, mixed celebrities, politicians and naked women. Those parties turned him into a celebrity. The magazine spawned nightclubs (where waitresses were dressed as bunnies), television shows and, eventually, a publishing empire.
Despite a long string of girlfriends — including a bevy of blonde beauties while he was in his 80s — Hefner married only twice. Each marriage resulted in two children, including his oldest daughter, Christie, who took over as head of the Playboy Enterprises in 1982 but left the company in 2008. His plans for a third wife blew up in June 2011, when just days before the wedding, 25-year-old fiancee Crystal Harris dumped Hef.
Hugh Hefner is survived by his daughter Christie, her brother David, and two children with second wife Kimberley Conrad, Marston and Cooper.

Rick Pitino is out as head coach of the University of Louisville basketball team amid a federal investigation into a corruption and fraud scheme.

louisville cardinals celebrate victory
The university’s athletic director, Tom Jurich, was also fired a day after the Justice Department announced the indictment of 10 people in a widespread investigation into illegal payments made to coaches. The investigation also implicated the Louisville basketball program. Before he was let go, Pitino held a meeting with his staff and informed them that he expected to be fired.
Pitino has been Louisville’s head coach since 2001 and led them to a national championship in 2013. (ESPN)
Pitino has had his share of scandals over the years. He was already suspended for the first five games of this season amid an investigation into the use of an escort service to persuade recruits. Pitino has been one of college basketball’s most successful coaches over the last 30 years. It’s unknown if he’ll ever coach again, either in the NCAA or the NBA.

Boy George has a new TV gig. The Culture Club frontman has joined the Canadian reality-talent series The Launch as a mentor.

Boy George - Photo Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano /

Boy George – Photo Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano /

Human Nature, the Motown tribute group from Australia that is a Las Vegas fixture, will release the album Jukebox on November 3rd. It will include such evergreens as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Stand by Me,” “Unchained Melody,” “Be My Baby” and “Good Lovin’” as well as two new songs.

 Frank Marino -

Frank Marino –

human nature band

Guy Vallari, who sang lead on The Regents’ original 1961 version of “Barbara Ann,” died Friday at his home in Middletown, New York. He was 74. The Beach Boys covered the song four years later; their surf-rock take went to number-two nationally.

the regents album cover

Previously unreleased stereo mixes of “Venus” by Shocking Blue and “Gypsy Woman” from Brian Hyland highlight Eric Records’ 18th volume of Hard to Find 45s. Due October 3rd, the disc also includes such radio favorites as Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died,” Pete Wingfield’s “18 With a Bullet” and Sweet’s “Fox on the Run.”

Country singer Shania Twain will make a big-screen acting splash next year opposite John Travolta in the racing car drama Trading Paint.

Shania Twain -  Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

Shania Twain – Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

Eric Clapton’s Facebook Live performances shot this month at The Forum in Los Angeles expire Saturday. Four songs were captured – “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Driftin’,” “Tears in Heaven” and “White Room.”

Eric Clapton - Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

Eric Clapton – Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos


The complete Days of Future Passed show The Moody Blues filmed in Toronto in July will be out in December.

Kansas guitarist Richard Williams was released from a hospital in Amarillo, Texas on Sunday. The band’s Saturday show in Arlington was canceled, but Williams is now home in Georgia and will be back with the band this weekend.


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