When you hear the word Playboy, it’s pretty uncommon to not know what’s being talked about. Playboy is an entertainment magazine targeted for men that started publishing in Chicago in the 1950’s by swinger-man Hugh Hefner. Hefner’s magazine helped shape the sexual revolution, and today has grown to Playboy Enterprises Inc. with a presence in nearly every platform. While the magazine started in the US, all over the world there are country specific versions of Playboy available.
Since the magazine’s launch in 1953, men all over wished to be Hefner, and women have aspired to be one of the Playboy Playmates; each magazine features a centerfold or “Playmate of the Month.” While many centerfolds get their official start from appearing in Playboy, many women featured are popular actresses, models, and musicians, including Marilyn Monroe, who was featured in the magazine’s first issue. It’s most common for a models to only be featured once as a Playboy Playmate, but in early issues some models were featured multiple times such as Janet Pilgrim, Marilyn Waltz, and Marguerite Empey.
Hugh Marston Hefner passed away this September (2017) after serving the world nearly 65 years of prime nudey mags, and making the bow tie bunny a trademark. His home in Los Angeles, the Playboy Mansion, is a worldwide known landmark in the US as the place to be when the lavish parties are being thrown. So in loving memory of Hugh, here is a list of 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Playboy, its history, and its creator!
1. The Playboy Mansion was acquired by Playboy in 1971 for $1.1 million. In 2011, PBM was valued at $54 million, with nearly $15 million worth of remodeling and renovations invested in it. The master suite takes several rooms on the second and third floors and is the most heavily renovated area of the property.
2. Hugh Hefner donated $100,000 to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to instate a college course called “Censorship in Cinema.”
3. In 2009, Hef told the Los Angeles Times that, “spending an eternity next to Marilyn (Monroe) is an opportunity too sweet to pass up,” as the suave Playboy guru is in his final resting place right next to her in a $75,000 crypt in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles.
4. Before the creation of Playboy, Hugh Hefner was working in Chicago for Esquire Magazine, and left his position after he was declined a $5 pay raise with the company. In 1953, Hef raised $8,000 including a $1,000 loan from his mother, and in December of that year Playboy was born. Hef’s mother passed away in 1997.
5. The first issue of Playboy sold 50,000 copies in 1953 when Hef was only 27, and the highest selling issue was from November 1972, selling 7 million copies.
6. Playboy was the first men’s magazine to be published in Braille in 1970.
7. Only Ten men have graced the cover of Playboy. Bruno Mars was the most recent man to be on the cover but other faces include Seth Rogan and Burt Reynolds.
8. The Playboy Mansion has its own pet cemetery. Hef thought it just made sense to have a respectful place for the passed away animals on the property. They have their own zoo license so the Playboy mansion had plenty of Monkeys and Exotic Birds part of the family.
9. Being one of Hef girlfriends at the mansion came with a lot of perks such as a $1,000 weekly allowance but also a handful of rules like having a curfew of 9pm.
10. The Playboy Mansion is the only private residence in LA that has a permanent fire work permit.