(RNN) - Media mogul Hugh Hefner died at age 91 Wednesday after decades as the face of the men's magazine Playboy, which he founded in 1953.
Hefner became known for his trademark smoking jacket, pipe and endless string of girlfriends – usually more than one at a time – while expanding his media empire into nearly every cultural facet imaginable and helping to further the careers of innumerable women after they appeared in the magazine's pages.
Playboy started after Hefner quit his job with Esquire when he was denied a $5 raise. He produced the first issue himself, using nude pictures of Marilyn Monroe taken before she became a movie star. It was printed without a date because Hefner was unsure a second issue would ever be created. It sold 50,000 copies, and launched the Playboy brand that later expanded to TV shows, movies, night clubs, Twitter promotions and publications in several languages, including a Braille edition.
It took just three years for Playboy to eclipse Esquire in circulation.
But it was not always smooth sailing.
Hefner was arrested in 1963 on charges of obscenity, regarding the magazine's photos of actress Jayne Mansfield. He was tried for selling obscene literature, but a jury could not come to a verdict and the charges were dropped.
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