LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol Hugh Hefner has died. He was 91.
The magazine released a statement saying Hefner died at his home of natural causes Wednesday night surrounded by family.
Founding the magazine in 1953, Hefner built a brand that defined the sexual culture of the second half of the 20th century.
Playboy's buxom models were the objects of millions of men's fantasies as Hefner challenged what he derided as America's "Puritanical" attitudes toward sex.
For decades, he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant fantasy party at Playboy mansions in Chicago and then in Los Angeles.
Cooper Hefner, his son and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises released the following statement:
“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 recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.”