14 surprising facts about Hugh Hefner

Greg Evans
Saturday 30 September 2017 11:30
Celebrities
Picture:(Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Playboy)

The divisive but undeniably ground-breaking Hugh Hefner passed away earlier this week, aged 91.

Since his death, a whole host of facts and stories have been shared about the Playboy creator.

For instance, he was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and put a black woman on the cover of his magazine long before Vogue magazine.

Hefner also donated to a charity to help children escape from prostitution, and launched the Rational Sex and Drug and Policy program.

He wasn't a complete angel though, as several Playmates from the past have revealed that living with him was far from enjoyable.

With this in mind here are 14 more facts about the man behind Playboy.

1. Held a degree psychology

Picture: Getty Images for Playboy(Getty Images for Playboy)

Publishing wasn't Hefner's first passion.

At the University of Illinois he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, graduating in 1949.

He also minored in creative writing and art, which probably goes someway to explaining his later occupation.

2. His IQ was very high

As VT and the Washington Post report, Hefner allegedly held an IQ of 152 during his time in high school.

3. Helped reconstruct the Hollywood sign. Twice.

Picture: Getty Images(Getty Images)

When the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided that the famous sign need rebuilding in the 1978, Hefner stepped in.

He organised a fund raising gala at the Playboy Mansion where each letter was auctioned off at $27,700 each.

In 2010, he stopped an investment group from demolishing the sign to make way for four lavish homes.

The group wanted $12.5 million for the land, of which Hefner donated $90,000, and effectively stopped the development.

4. Served in WWII

In 1944, Hefner served as an infantry clerk for the US army.

During that time, the keen cartoonist began illustrating for the army newspaper.

He served in the military until 1946 before being honourably discharged.

5. Cheating hurt him, a lot

While he was in the army he learned that his first wife, Mildred, cheated on him.

Upon learning this he famously said:

[It was] the most devastating moment of my life.

6. Worked for Esquire

In 1951 Hefner worked as a copywriter for Esquire magazine.

He didn't last too long at the publication - he left after 12 months after they allegedly denied him a $5 raise.

Shortly after that he set-up Playboy, a magazine that is now sold in 20 countries worldwide.

7. Created the first issue of Playboy at his kitchen table

Picture: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The humble beginning of the magazine started in 1953 from the kitchen of his South Side Chicago apartment

According to him "the entire staff was my card table, my typewriter and me."

The issue which famously featured Marilyn Monroe didn't have a date on the cover as they didn't know if there would be a second issue.

8. Has an endangered rabbit named after him

The Lower Keys rabbit, which is a native to Florida, has been endangered since 1990.

Research into the species was undertaken by James D Lazell Jr, whose funding came courtesy of the Playboy Corporation.

In turn, the Latin name of the breed of rabbits, Sylvilagus palustris hefneri was named after Hefner in recognition of his support.

9. Related to John Kerry and George W. Bush

Picture: LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images(LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Hefner once had distant connection to the top of the US government.

He was the ninth cousin, once removed of former Secretary of State John Kerry.

If that wasn't impressive enough he was also the ninth cousin, twice removed of former President George W. Bush.

10. Holds two world records

His first world record was thanks to his stint as the longest running editor-in-chief of one magazine.

The other is a bit more unusual.

Hefner was an avid chronicler of his own life and as a result had almost 2,400 volumes of scrapbooks at the Playboy Mansion.

11. Experimented with bisexuality

After his first marriage ended at the beginning of the 60s, Hefner reportedly experimenting with his sexuality.

In 1971 he admitted that he had bisexual experiences in this period, which was seen as a ground breaking admission at the time.

12. Viagra allegedly caused him to go deaf

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In later life, Hefner became dependent on Viagra to perform in the bedroom.

When he began taking the pills in excess, he began to develop a hearing problem and the coincidence could not be overlooked.

Towards the end of his life it was reported that he could hardly hear at all but that didn't bother him too much.

Global News quote a former lover of his as saying, "He would rather have sex than have his hearing."

13. He didn't own the Playboy Mansion

In 2016, Hefner sold his luxury house to neighbour Daren Metopoulos for $100 million "under the stipulation that Hefner would be allowed to live there for the rest of his life."

14. He will rest alongside Marilyn Monroe

Picture: Mel Bouzad/Getty Images(Mel Bouzad/Getty Images)

His final resting place will be alongside the woman who began his success, Marilyn Monroe.

A crypt alongside the actress was purchased back in 1992 for the price of $75,000, in the Westwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

HT VT

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