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Hugh Hefner: The Ultimate Lifestyle Entrepreneur

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Hugh Hefner is the supreme bachelor of our time and the ultimate "lifestyle entrepreneur". He has forever changed our world by breaking the boundaries related to sexuality, age, and gender. He created a revolutionary magazine with naked women and great articles in a time when sexuality was not even appropriate to talk about.

Education:

Hugh Hefner (aka “Hef”) was born April 9, 1926 to conservative Nebraska farmers. Though Hef had a genius I.Q. of 152, he was still an average student. Hef enjoyed participating in extracurricular activities like the school newspaper, writing, and cartooning and was also president of the student counsel. Hef graduated in 1944 and joined the U.S. Army as an infantry clerk. While he was there Hef drew several cartoons for the Army newspaper.
After his release from the Army in 1946 he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute, and in the fall attended class at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his bachelors degree in just 2½ years. Hef also took a graduate course in sociology for a semester at Northwestern. His interest was in individual freedom. He wrote a paper on U.S. sex laws during the time Kinsey was researching human sexuality.

Getting Started:

Hef worked as an asst. personnel manager for the Chicago Cartoon Company and then as a promotion copywriter for Esquire magazine. When the company moved to New York and refused the five dollar raise Hef requested, he quit and tried to raise enough money to launch a new Chicago Magazine. After failing he worked as a news stand promotions director of Publisher’s Development Corporation. While working, Hef found that there was a demand for a gentleman's magazine.

Playboy Magazine:

Between family and friends, Hef was able to raise $8,000 to start his magazine. The first issue featured Marilyn Monroe and sold over 50,000 copies. The original name was "Stag Party", but he was forced to change it as it was challenged as a trademark infringement by Stag Magazine. The name "Playboy" was suggested by a friend, and the famous bunny logo was picked for its humorous sexual connotation. With the bunny head wearing a tux, he was sophisticated, but also frisky and playful.

Playboy Enterprises:

Playboy now is the leading men’s magazine in the world, circulating more than three million copies in the U.S. and 4.5 million worldwide. The magazine contains award-winning fiction and investigation articles, in-depth interviews with gorgeous women and celebrities, and of course women and sex. The magazine is now owned by Playboy Enterprises Inc., and Christie Hefner (Hef’s Daughter) is Chairman and CEO.

Playboy Diversification:

Playboy is an international multimedia company with four income streams: publishing, licensing, online and TV. Playboy and Spice Television networks distribute programming of home video and DVD globally. Playboy.com is one of the leading male lifestyle web destinations providing entertaining articles and Playboy news, as well as subscription-based access to photos and videos. Playboy and Spice trademarks are licensed internationally for a range of consumer products such as clothing, toys, etc.

Mainstream Television and Film:

Long before The Playboy Channel and Playboy videos and DVDs, Hef was involved in the production of several mainstream television series and motion pictures. Playboy produced The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971), Monty Python's first movie, And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), The Naked Ape (1973) and Saint Jack (1979), plus television movies Third Girl from the Left (1973), The Death of Ocean View Park (1979), The Cop and the Kid (1975) and A Whale for the Killing (1981).

Contributions:

Hugh has been honored in California by the Chamber of Commerce for helping pay for the repairs to the Hollywood sign. He now has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. In 1996 Hugh was honored in a formal ceremony by the University of California for his dedication and contributions to the film industry.

Personal Life:

Hef was married to his first wife classmate Mildred Williams in 1949, and conceived two children (Christie ’52, and David ‘55). Hef’s second wife Kim Conrad was 1989’s Playmate of the Year. The two had two sons, Marston Gilen ’90, and Conrad Bradford ’91 (they are separated at this time). Hef, almost 80, is seeing three women known as the “G.O.F.” Holly Madison, who claims to be the No. 1 girlfriend, is 25, Bridget Marquard, 31, and Kendra Wilkinson, 20.

This unusual living arrangement is the subject of a new reality TV show on E! Entertainment Television, The Girls Next Door, which looks at life inside the Playboy Mansion. Hef says that he has lived most of his personal life very publicly, so living it on E! for all to see isn't a big deal.

Hugh Hefner is considered one of the luckiest men alive - the ultimate lifestyle entrepreneur.

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