Pictured above: The cover of the first issue of Playboy, December 1953.
VAV!/December 26, 2014
"If you're a man between the ages of 18 and 80, Playboy is meant for you." "We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d'oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph, and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex ..." - Hugh Hefner, excerpted from the first editor's letter
How did "Playboy," an adult entertainment lifestyle magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction, begin?
After failed efforts at becoming a cartoonist, Hugh Hefner founded and launched Playboy in 1953 from the kitchen table of his South Side apartment in Chicago, IL. Hefner, a 1949 University of Illinois psychology graduate who had worked in Chicago for Esquire magazine writing promotional copy; Publisher's Development Corporation in sales and marketing; and Children's Activities magazine as circulation promotions manager, likely never dreamed about the social phenomena that Playboy eventually generated. In fact, the first issue of Playboy had no cover date because Hefner was unsure when or if he would ever publish another. Playboy became an almost instant success after the first issue sold more than 53,000 copies.
In addition to the center-fold pin-ups that made the magazine infamous, famous and an inspiration to men and women worldwide, Mr. Hefner filled its pages with words from the most prolific fiction writers of all time. Names such as James Baldwin, John Steinbeck and Vladimir Nabokov poured into the readers' view, as well as advice from columnists, submission of readers letters, a variety of comic strips and more.
A closer look at Hugh Hefner's philosophy through a series of videos below...