Playboy magazine founder and Girls Next Door star Hugh Hefner died Wednesday at the age of 91, but before he passed, he talked at length about his career in a candid interview.
The first issue of Playboy came out in the '50s and has since been a staple of the American publishing industry.
In his final interview, which took place with People in March, Hefner opened up about kick-starting Playboy, aging, and being a father. Read the best quotes from the session below.
On Starting Playboy
"I launched the magazine on $5,000 dollars. My mother loaned me $1,000. The first issue came out at the end of 1953. I knew I needed something original. I had a photographer shoot a 3D feature for the first issue and learned it would cost too much money. When the 3D thing turned out to be too expensive, at that same moment I came across the photos of Marilyn Monroe. People had heard about it but they hadn’t seen it. And that was the first issue."
On Why Playboy Is Still Relevant
"I think it’s a fantasy life for a lot of people, including me. And it’s been real and relatable all through these years. Because it is real."
On What Kind of Father He Was
"I was an absent dad. Once the magazine started, I really had two families. The dream was the magazine. I worked through the night all the time."
On Using Playboy to Fight for Social Issues Like Abortion Rights and Birth Control
"Part of the concept behind the magazine was breaking barriers. And it wasn’t just a sexual thing. It was racial and doing the things that were right. And in the process that set Playboy apart."
On When He Started Wearing Pajamas Everywhere
"It was very early [at the Chicago Mansion]. It was comfortable and then I knew I was getting away with something. It was good for the image and good for a lazy guy. It became a uniform. I probably own 50."
On Getting Older
"It’s nice to look back on very sweet moments. I just think I’m very very blessed."