He helped usher in a sexual revolution in the 1950s, and his business empire ultimately became one of the world's most recognizable brands. Now, after more than 60 years of publishing and partying, cultural icon Hugh Hefner has passed away. Graham Mackay reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PLAYBOY FOUNDER, HUGH HEFNER, SAYING: "Hello there, glad you could join us this evening. I'm Hugh Hefner" More than 60 years after the first edition of Playboy hit the shelves, its iconic founder Hugh Hefner has died. His company confirming that the 91-year-old passed away from natural causes on Wednesday at his legendary party pad the Playboy Mansion. Hefner built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, helping usher in a sexual revolution with the launch of Playboy in 1953. It was milestone for magazine publishing, combining sex and nudity with smartly written, intellectual articles. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PLAYBOY FOUNDER, HUGH HEFNER, SAYING: "Some of the emphasis on leisure living and the good things of life are the things that stop people from spending their time at destructive things like war" Many of the entertainment world's most recognizable women appeared in Playboy over the years, from pop princess Madonna to modeling icon Naomi Campbell and later the likes of Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. A favorite of the Hollywood party scene, and famously no stranger to female company, Hefner was regularly seen surrounded by a harem of young, beautiful women. Among them, Crystal Harris, his third wife, 60 years younger, who he married in 2012. More recently though, Hef's partying slowed down as reports surfaced that his health was declining. But despite public appearances become increasingly rare, his outlook on life remained the same to the very end. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PLAYBOY FOUNDER, HUGH HEFTIER, SAYING: "We're only here fir a little while, we should make the most of it"