Hugh Hefner just died at 91. I was part of that joke "who reads Playboy articles?" The answer was - tons of people, even gay men like me. They published some of the best writers in America, fought for overturning censorship and government intervention into people's private lives, racism, on and on. When I was in my 20s, he owned two magazines, Playboy and OUI. The latter was sleek, irreverent, edgy: the European-style alternative to Playboy's "girl next door" style. They hired young editors and young writers, and many writers got their first exposure at Playboy (no pun intended). The two magazines published Charles Bukowski, Gay Talese, Norman Mailer, Alex Haley. Several years ago, with circulation shrinking, they went to a bi-monthly magazine.
His definition of obscenity was "war, racism, bigotry, poverty, and injustice." I never had the opportunity to me Hugh Hefner, but he impacted me, and he impacted what and who we are as a nation. I'm a fan and always was. Rest in Peace, Hef.