Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder and cultural icon has passed away at 91. According to the New York Times, he went peacefully at his home, the infamous Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Wednesday. His death was announced by Playboy Enterprises.
Hugh Hefner left his job as a copy editor at Esquire in 1952. He took out a $600 bank loan, borrowed $1,000 from his mother and raised an additional $7,000 to launch Playboy Magazine. It was first published in 1953 when Hefner was 27 years old. Circulation of the publication reached one million by 1960 and increased to seven million in the ’70s. Hef, as he was commonly referred to, became synonymous with the Playboy brand. He was renowned for his infamous parties at the Playboy Mansion and consistently mingled with the entertainment world’s biggest celebrities. Hip Hop artists took to Twitter to send their condolences, including Questlove, Juicy J, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, iLoveMakonnen, Blockhead and TM88.