Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Different Kind of Editor: Hugh Hefner (April 9, 1926 - September 27, 2017)

Hugh Hefner with Hugh O'Brien - All Original Photographs from Archives
Some photos from our archives taken at the mansion in Chicago and the club in New York City in the 1960s. (Photographic coverage of this time and place was rare.)

Hef holding court with actor Hugh O'Brian

This organization was founded the same year (1953) that Ian Fleming's first Bond novel was published.

A Young Richard Pryor

A Caribbean beauty queen and a chap from Amsterdam

In Front of an Original Franz Kline

Ozzie and Harriet's David Nelson






























32 comments:

  1. These are great photos. It's a shame that Hef has passed, but he had some great 91 years. The Playboy empire seems to be in good hands with his son Cooper.

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  2. As a descendant of Governor William Bradford, Heffner is a distant cousin. The connection did not help when I tried to enter the Boston Playboy Club with a friend, only to be told we had to be members.

    Heffner was in the right place at the right time. He didn't invent a liberal lifestyle, ancient Greeks, Romans and the British aristocracy had already paved the way. But he did bring taboo subjects into the general conversation. Now we have the election of Judge Roy Moore and the promise of others like him. The social pendulum is always swinging.

    Perhaps Heffner's greatest legacy is the stand he took on civil rights. When so many of our leaders failed to promote equality, Hef did not hesitate.

    MGC

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  3. Always found it interesting that Hef had a person remove all broken potato chips from the bowl before they were served.
    If his bag of chips is anything like mine, that would be about half the bag.

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  4. Wow, how pathetic. Hard to believe people lived like that. Glad those days are over.

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    1. Yeah, you're so right. Thank God those dark days of sexual liberation, self-determination, and fun are over. Thank God the man who helped fund Roe v. Wade is gone, and all that terrible social change. We're all having so much more fun right now. Nothing says "joy" like 2017.

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    2. I agree with the afore post. This is not my idea of “fun”, or glamour, or social health. But what I consider to be outrageous hedonism is just not my thing. I hope people who were involved in this learned valuable life lessons and went on to happy lives...but this environment just doesn’t seem happy or healthy to me in any way. Best wishes to all and their life’s choices.

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    3. Plenty of my friends from the outrageous hedonism era have had all that sex, drugs, and booze catch up to them in middle age. Think of all the musicians we've lost, most recently Tom Petty. Back then no one thought that behavior had consequences, it was fun to break the rules. Yabbut, the "rules" existed to save you from yourself . . .
      because liver transplants, lung cancer and HIV are like bummers, man.

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  5. Thank you for this reminiscent peek into an earlier era.
    Not being a judgmental prude, I really appreciate the tribute.

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  6. Those women (in bikinis) look like real women, curves for miles! Gorgeous! Such a difference from today''s rail thin standard of beauty.

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    1. I agree. Today's girls, well, I look at them and want to make them a sandwich.

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  7. I have always been fascinated by the 60s; it was crucible for almost everything. But living through it looks more fun than it probably was, especially for women.

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  8. I think these photos are spectacular. They're even more spectacular because Muffy posted them on this blog. Way to go Muffy!

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  9. Remarkable photos of a remarkable time. The American Century and post war prosperity shifting into high gear. And of course, there was Commander Bond. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. The table tennis is my favorite. Goodness, people were so much more attractive then.
    MGC - sorry you were denied entrance - would've loved that story!

    SWS

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  11. Swooning over the styles. Thanks so much for the lift!

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  12. Yeah baby! Thanks for the remembrance of the swinging 60s. Where have all the good times gone?

    Sincerely
    A Powers, Esq.
    SW3 London

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  13. Maybe the most interesting man in the world...

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  14. So many firsts and a time of amazing social change. Most of it for the better. Shame the same can't be said of today. Thanks for posting the tribute Muffy.

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  15. I’m surprised by all the accolades spilled out for a man who got rich from exploiting women. There are many things I admire about the 60s but Hugh Hefner wasn’t one of them, especially the raunchy Hef of later years.

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    1. Is a man more admirable if he exploits men by having them work in his mine, in his field or in his factories and gets rich that way?

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    2. I'm not sure it's an either/or question.

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  16. Life is full of ironies - it was Hefner's puerile playboy fantasy turned lifestyle/business enterprise that spurred women's activism & movement. Thank goodness that the times had young post war educated women that possessed the words & smarts to speak out, getting media attention & acting as a foil to the dark Hefner tenet that women were disposable.

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    1. Indeed, life is full of ironies. In 1920 the amendment was passed giving women the right to vote and in 1921 the first Miss America event was held. Two steps forward, one step back.

      Excellent insight into the last 50 plus years, Anon2:21pm! History speaks for itself and I’m looking forward to the pendulum swinging back...what are the chances?

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  17. Playboy had its place (hidden in a drawer) at that breakout time in history. There is a time and place to drop one's inhibitions responsibly. But 50 years into the "sexual revolution" we have normalized and now the media exalts that part of the culture that chooses porn over partners, hookups over relationships, sexting over dating, promiscuity over family formation, and "zipless" anything goes over personal responsibility.

    This has gotten us a society where enormous numbers of children are growing up never knowing their fathers (let alone grandfathers), where institutional dead-end poverty is a way of life, where immense numbers of women now consider themselves "victims" and even the most elite universities must conduct "rape" tribunals that assume guilt and destroy potential without due process of evidence under the law. Up to one in every three US adults is now said to be harboring an STD. "Celebrities" get attention by displaying their private parts like orangutans, not to mention their public vulgarity passing as "humor."

    Maybe it's time to swing the pendulum back on that "free love" experiment, eh?

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    1. Ironically, all of those things you're whining about are things Hefner objected to, and, in fact, were in direct opposition to the mandate of his magazine. As usual, like the villagers in Mark Twain's mythical Dawson's Landing, MO, self-righteous rubes and middle-class American scolds have missed the ENTIRE point of what their superiors in wit and insight have proposed, and judge them "puddn'heads" due to their own ignorance and self-righteousness.

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  18. Agree. Time to swing the pendulum back.

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  19. Playboy magazine's "intellectualism" was the best marketing ploy ever. Glossy, air brushed pages - humor, wit on subjects that were for its time taboo while parlaying women's image to a template. Long live the ever changing, ever evolving middle class - an institution that passes the test of time & provides the even keel of society; the building blocks of the family - the most important human relationship unit.

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    1. It would take an intellectual to recognize it. It wasn't really designed for the "ever changing, ever evolving middle class," which is actually a fairly class, with a notable dearth of imagination and scope, and most definitely not "an institution." And the "subjects that were for its time taboo" included interviews with great writers, top-quality literary fiction, articles on technology. To score a "PLAYBOY Interview" was considered the height of achievement across the board for anyone who was anyone in society. It's just that it wasn't published for mealy-mouthed, small-minded midwestern morality scolds. As for "parlaying women's issues into a template," the reverence of female beauty is as old as art itself. From what you've written here, it seems very doubtful that you even read the magazine, or, if you read it, that you read it with your eyes closed—which is typical. There's no louder voice than the one braying about something it barely understands.

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    2. LOL fell for it.

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    3. There was a Braille edition of Playboy, so it is quite possible that some read it with their eyes closed.

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    4. Blue Train I saw a braille addition of Playboy at a flea market and thought it was a gag until I actually took a closer look.

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