The magazine mogul made a name for himself six decades ago when he published the first issue of Playboy, which had pages of photos of naked women, including Marilyn Monroe. Hefner shattered the taboos surrounding sex and nudity at the time, his son, Cooper Hefner, Playboy’s chief creative officer, said in a 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,” the younger Hefner said in a statement.
Before he rose to fame in the 1950s, Hugh Hefner had served in the U.S. Army and worked in the magazine publishing industry, Playboy Enterprises said. The Chicago-born trailblazer first started circulating Playboy in December 1953 with money he borrowed from family and friends and with furniture he put up as collateral for a loan, the company said.
In 2009, Hefner told TIME he “dramatically” changed the notion of sex in America. That was one of his proudest accomplishments, he told the New York Times in 1992. “That gives me great satisfaction,” he said.