The next year he took his big gamble, raising ,000 to launch a new magazine.
It was originally to be called “Stag Party”, but the name ran into copyright problems.
No less important, the creature was frisky, playful and utterly unthreatening, as well as blessed with proverbial procreational powers.
At first Hefner – by now known simply as “Hef” – commuted between the two in his black-painted private commercial jet “Big Bunny”, but by 1975 he had moved to LA for good.
By this time, the magazine had perfected its main claim to journalistic excellence: the remarkable monthly interviews with the rich and famous that began in 1962, notable both for their length and their hard-hitting, revelatory style.
The punter he was after would “enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche or jazz.” As for the dessert, that went without saying.
Hefner’s attitude to sex was a conscious rebellion against America’s Puritan ethic and the conventions of the age.
In 1965, the first African-American Playmate appeared.