From Marilyn Monroe to the Girls Next Door – Hugh Hefner has been the silk robe behind many a sexual icon. He is known for his parties, his girlfriends, his fights with the FBI over obscenity charges, that melee with the Meese Commission and a load of other things. Hef has fought long and hard for Playboy and free speech since his magazine first hit the stands in 1953. His belief in the company has yet to go limp despite drooping profits. Though it seems Playboy Enterprises will be netting a loss of more than $50 million this year, Hefner came out last summer with a $123-million dollar bid to buy the outstanding shares of the company and as of today, that offer still stands. What Hefner may not be known for is his recent pledge of funding to save the Hollywood sign and his massive collection of art – now set to be auctioned off. Patt talks to the man that has been at the center of so many first amendment fights and his company’s prolonged endurance.
*Hugh Hefner will receive the Award of Honor & First Amendment Award at the PEN Center USA's 20th Annual Literary Awards Festival tomorrow night at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Hugh Hefner, founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises