Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was born on April 9, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois.
Hefner started the magazine in 1953, as a mainstream lifestyle publication that celebrated sex at a time when Americans were none too willing to talk about such things in public. Playboy, not without controversy, became a smashing success, known for its articles as well as its regular pictorials of naked women.
Hefner had a stroke in 1985 that slowed his swinging lifestyle, and in 1988 he turned over business operations to his daughter, Christie. After nearly a decade of being a husband and father, Hef bounced back in the late ’90s and has dated many younger women in the years since.
Dating up to seven women at once, Hefner and three of his girlfriends starred in E!’s The Girls Next Door. The show aired for six seasons with Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson appearing until 2008 before twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon took center stage. Hefner married Crystal Harris on December 31, 2012 at the Playboy mansion.