How Playboy Has Changed Since Hugh Hefner's Death

Company and magazine founder died at age 91 in September 2017

By Corinne Heller Apr 09, 2018 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Take a Look Back at Hugh Hefner in 2014

Monday would have marked Hugh Hefner's 92nd birthday.

The Playboy company founder and magazine mogul died at age 91 last September. He was survived by wife and Playboy model Crystal Hefner, and his four grown children: Christie Hefner, a former chief executive of Playboy Enterprises, David HefnerMarston Hefner and Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.

Playboy Enterprises Inc. and Playboy the magazine have changed since Hef's death.

The End of Playboy the Magazine?

Hef's death set in motion a process that will move ownership of the iconic brand out of his family's hands and could spell the end of its print edition after more than 70 years, the Wall Street Journal reported in January. The financial news outlet said Playboy Enterprises Inc.'s controlling shareholder, private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse, is in talks to acquire the 35 percent stake Hef had left in trust to his heirs.

The company had helped him take Playboy private in 2011 in return for control of nearly two-thirds of the company and had agreed to continue publishing its flagship long as he was alive. 

Hugh Hefner: A Life in Pictures
Watch: Cooper Hefner Talks Hef's "American Playboy" Show & More

Playboy Nudes:

The publication's transformation had actually began several months before Hef's death.

In February 2017, it was announced that the magazine will being back nude pictorials, a year after axing them.

"That was our April Fool's joke for the last year," Cooper joked to E! News' Carissa Culiner last April. "We were just playing a really, really sick joke. We thought, 'Hey, let's take the nudity out for a year and then bring it back around April. It was funny, right?"

Playboy Continues Blazing Trails for LGBTQ Community:

Ines Rau appeared in the centerfold of the magazine's November 2017 issue, becoming the first transgender model to do so in Playboy's 64-year history. The outlet first published photos of a transgender model in 1991.

Following a backlash, Cooper tweeted, "We should collectively be fighting for a more open world, not one that promotes hatred and a lack of acceptance."

Playboy on Social Media:

The company announced on March 28 that it deactivated its Facebook page amidst news that Cambridge Analytica had used the network to obtain users' private information. It followed in the footsteps of the likes of Elon MuskWill Ferrell and Cher.

Playboy Mansion:

The Mansion lives! Daren Metropoulos bought the Bel-Air property in 2016, while Hef still lived there with his wife, for $100 million and planned to connect it with another house he owned next door. After Hef died, Metropoulos reached an agreement with the city of Los Angeles, under which he would not demolish the Mansion and would restore the house and facade to "its original grandeur," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I'm extremely passionate about its architecture and look forward to this momentous opportunity to transform one of the finest estates in the country," Metropoulos said in a statement. "As Mr. Hefner was aware, I plan to meticulously refurbish the property with the highest quality and standards in mind."