Playboy: How Hugh Hefner Built His Empire

published on July 20, 2020

Few people today remember just how big of a game-changer playboy was during the 1960's that's why in honor of Hugh Hefner's passing we'll be exploring the spectacular rise of playboy this video is brought to you by Squarespace built before websites easily and

Affordably by signing up with the link below Hugh Hefner was born in prohibition-era Chicago to a Protestant family his parents were extremely conservative to the point where they not only prevented him from drinking smoking

And swearing but also did not allow him to go to the movies on Sundays the subject of sex was complete anathema to them and unsurprisingly Hefner grew up to be a very introverted young man to escape from his conservative reality he

Would often turn to drawing comics and creative writing after graduating college with the psychology major he landed an advertising job at Esquire magazine while working there he got very involved with the content and this let

Him understand what made Esquire successful we've already talked about the rise of the educated American in our degree Factory video but in short as more and more young Americans graduated from college and got well-paying jobs

The demand for a higher quality lifestyle became apparent Esquire tapped into this new demand exceptionally well by painting a picture of what the modern educated Americans should look like according to them he should be

Sophisticated yet worldly with an interest in fancy sports cars good food expensive clothing and of course good-looking women Hefner realized how successful this formula was and so he was eager to try applying it on his own

When his boss at Esquire refused to give him a $5 raise in 1952 Hefner quit and set about creating his own magazine right off the bat he wanted to take Esquires concept to the next level and what better way to do that

Than by adding naked women into the mix now that in and of itself wasn't particularly revolutionary there had been plenty of dirty magazines in the States by that point all of them however were very shoddy items they were

Printed on the lowest quality paper possible and were generally not something you'd be proud to show to your neighbors what made Hugh Hefner's idea unique was to combine the high quality content of a

Lifestyle magazine with the sexual liberty of showing beautiful naked women to get his idea rolling he invested almost all of his life savings and when they ran out he ended up selling eight thousand dollars worth of stock to

Investors and getting a thousand bucks from his mother he also hired his dad to be his accountant but despite their involvement neither of his parents read a single issue of the magazine initially he wanted to go at stag party

But due to a copyright dispute he ended up naming it playboy for the first issue he bought the famous nude calendar pictures of Marilyn Monroe for $200 and added quite a lot of spicy cartoons jokes he published the first issue of

Playboy in December of 1953 but he was so uncertain of its future that he didn't even put a publishing date on it he was afraid nobody would buy it but in fact Playboy's very first issue sold 55,000 copies at 50 cents apiece the gem

Of Hefner's magazine from the very beginning was the sweetheart of the month the concept which eventually evolved into the Playmate we know today Marilyn Monroe was a very fitting choice for Playboy's first issue but that's not

The only reason for its success if the content itself was very interesting and featured articles and stories from some of the best writers and critics at the time Stephen King for example would often submit his short stories at

Playboy as did Ray Bradbury or in a Hemingway and many others all these authors made playboy a very high quality publication but of course the real money didn't come from selling the magazines themselves but from the advertisements

In them thanks to his time at Esquire Hefner knew how to sign the best possible advertisers for Playboy he wanted the ads and playboy to reflect the ideal lifestyle of its readers and in a way the ads helps Hefner

Established Playboy's reputation of course they also carried quite a hefty paycheck and by the time Hefner had published Playboy's fourth issue he had made enough money to rent a proper office in downtown Chicago

It's worth noting that the pictures published at the magazines first 15 years are quite tame by today's standards in fact it wouldn't be until 1972 that playboy would dabble in full frontal nudity Hefner divorced his first

Wife in 1959 in this left him in a rather weird position the line between his private and professional life dissolved almost entirely to the point where he took on the persona of the sophisticated successful bachelor but it

Was idealized by Playboy he essentially became the face of Playboy and he would remain so for the rest of his life by 1960 the Playboy magazine had become one of the most successful publications in the States boasting a circulation of

Over a million using some of the 23 million dollars of revenue playboy earned that year he ever opened a Playboy Club in Chicago where you'd get served food and drinks by the iconic Playboy Bunnies the club was an instant

Success and attracted over a hundred thousand visitors just in the last three months of 1961 before long Hefner had opened Playboy Clubs across the country and was also buying and various other real estates

Including hotels and casinos at the end of the 1960's playboy boasted a hundred and twenty-seven million dollars in sales and by that point its content alone was exceptional the magazine became well known for its upfront and

In-depth interviews with some of the most high-profile public figures of the time Playboy journalists interviewed Malcolm X Miles Davis The Beatles and many other famous people the early 1970s became the Golden Age of playboy as

America experienced so full force of the sexual revolution Hugh Hefner further cemented his bachelor persona by purchasing what is now known as the Playboy Mansion for 11 million dollars in 1971 located near Beverly Hills

Hefner would frequently host lavish parties there in a very great gatsby esque fashion just a year later playboy recorded its highest-ever circulation at 72 million readers and it was now a publicly traded company

Despite that Hugh Hefner's take leadership was dragging the company down while revenues had never been higher actual profit was down to just two million dollars in 1975 Hefner's real

Estate investments in brief partnership with Columbia Pictures to make movies and TV shows were improv Atal and were eating away of the company's revenues this trend continued until the 1980s when the company lost a record 69

Million dollars over the course of two years the number of Playboy Clubs went down from 22 to just three if the likes of hustler and Penthouse were challenging the Playboy magazine finally in 1982 Hugh Hefner's daughter Kristy

Hefner was made president of Playboy and was put in charge of restoring the declining business two years later she had sold off Playboy's casinos and was working hard to bring the magazine in line with The Times

Just as breaking the sexual taboos of the 1950's gave playboy its initial kick now it needed a new direction for Christie this meant becoming a champion of social issues things like freedom of speech and supporting gay rights and

AIDS research became the hallmark of Playboy The Magazine still featured nude women but it also became a platform for activists and political dissidents while the move did bring in a more diverse audience it also attracted the unwanted

Attention of the government in 1986 the Reagan administration labeled playboy as pornographic which immediately caused sales to plummet just four years later the magazine was down to just 34 million readers and it's only lifeline

Was its newly promoted subscription service Christie directed her sites outwards and that paid off she licensed 14 international editions across Asia and Europe which collectively had over a million and a

Half readers by 1990 her next move was to meet hustler and penthouse on the media's latest battlefield it's the internet playboy became one of the first national magazines to have its own websites and within its first year it

Had recorded a beak of half a million visitors in a single day by the end of 1997 it was generating seven visits per day and was bringing in significant income from online advertising but in the years after 2000

Competition quickly brought playboy down to its knees other publications dropped the heavy thought intensive articles in favour of shorter content that could be read more quickly another trend of newer publications was to feature celebrities

Photographed as close to nude as possible without actually being nude in this way they could be shown next to regular magazines unlike playboy which had to be kept to the side the company struggled through

The early 2000s and finally posted a loss of a hundred and sixty million dollars in 2008 after failing to re-enter the TV and casino businesses Christie resigned at the same year and since then the company has been mostly

Going downhill Hefner took Playboy private in 2011 with the help of a company called Rizvi Traverse upon the condition that they would purchase Hefner's 33% stake within a year of his death Hefner then passed the day-to-day

Operations of playboy to his youngest son Cooper who at 26 is already living a life as wild as his father's but wow he seems eager to restore Playboy's popularity some insiders are questioning whether the company should even continue

To exist in light of Hugh Hefner's passing just one of the many signs of its declining image is the fact that Hugh Hefner sold the Playboy Mansion for only half the amount he wanted in early 2016 now that he's gone the future of

Playboy looks increasingly uncertain the magazine has failed to distinguish itself from its competitors in an already declining industry thanks to the sheer availability of online porn whether Cooper will be able to save

Playboy and whether he even be given the chance to do so remains to be seen now looking back at Playboy's website from 1996 makes me wonder just how much money they spent on it but here's the thing making beautiful websites is no longer a

Byzantine endeavor that costs thousands of dollars in fact with Squarespace is gonna cost you as little as 12 dollars a month they've got over a hundred designer templates which are fully customizable and to see just how awesome

I'm giving you a two week free trial and 10% off your first order if you sign up with the link below visit squarespacecom slash business casual and you'll be on your way to building a stylish website easily and affordably

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