Hugh Hefner

Biography

Hugh Hefner (born April 9, 1926) is an American magazine publisher, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises He has described his upbringing & family as “conservative, Midwest, Methodist.” Hefner first served as a writer for a military newspaper in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. He later graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a B.A. in psychology with a double minor in creative writing and art in 1949, earning his degree in two and a half years. After graduation, he took a semester of graduate courses in sociology at Northwestern University but dropped out soon after.

While Working as a copywriter for Esquire, he left in January 1952, after being denied a $5 raise. In 1953, he mortgaged his furniture, generating a bank loan of $600 (or $800—he cannot recall which) and raised $8,000 from 45 investors— including $1,000 from his mother (“Not because she believed in the venture,” he told E! in 2006. “But because she believed in her son”) – to launch Playboy, which was initially going to be called Stag Party. The undated first issue, published in December 1953, featured Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot and sold over 50,000 copies, and Playboy Magazine was official born. Hefner makes plenty of appearances in town at his own themed Playboy Club at the top of The Palms hotel & casino, and is a regular figure at many high-profile events in Las Vegas.

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