'The Hoppening' Playboy Party

Source: Ron Davis / Getty

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy and the media mogul who showed the world that sex does sell, has passed away at the age of 91 due to natural causes.

“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” Playboy confirmed in a statement to E! News. 

He started his career as a copy writer at Esquire magazine before leaving in 1952 to launch what would become Playboy. He scrounged up money from investors, his mother and the little savings he had to start his own publication. The first issue hit newsstands in December 1953, and featured photos of none other than Marilyn Monroe.

The Playboy brand took on a name of its own and its logo became an iconic American symbol. Hefner is survived by his wife Crystal and his four children.