Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Hugh Hefner, the silk pyjamas-wearing founder of Playboy who helped steer nudity into the American mainstream, died on Wednesday, the magazine announced.

He was 91.

Hefner, who in 1953 founded a trailblazing brand that would help usher in the 20th century's shifting attitude towards sexuality, died of natural causes in his Beverly Hills home - the famed Playboy Mansion - according to a statement from Playboy Enterprises.

His son Cooper, Playboy Enterprises' chief creative officer, said: "My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.

"He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognisable and enduring in history." - AFP

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