In 1953, Hefner scraped together $8,000 from family and friends, including $1,000 from his mother, and in December of that year, he published the first issue of Playboy, producing the magazine at the kitchen table of his apartment. That first issue featured a nude pinup shot of Marilyn Monroe, and the rest was history. When the magazine launched during the Eisenhower administration, Hefner's image of the "Playboy lifestyle" championed a more libertine view of sexuality that went against the puritanical elements of the times. But he also turned Playboy, as a publication and an ideal, into a forum for sexual freedom and progressive politics, advocating for civil rights and free speech.
It was that first issue of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe that launched Hugh Hefner as a social and sexual revolutionary. And after all the bunnies, all the playmates, all the girlfriends, one named Brandy, and the twins named Sandy and Mandy, Hefner wanted to be near Monroe for eternity. He bought the crypt next to Monroe's at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in California, which he planned to be his final resting place. Reflecting on his own life, Hefner once said in a CNN interview that he would "like to be remembered as somebody who has changed the world in some positive way, in a social, sexual sense, and I'd be very happy with that."
With or without nudity, that's a pretty clear image of Hefner's legacy.
Kemo D. 7