Hugh Hefner died after 'contracting a bug two weeks ago' that he never recovered from
After 91 long years on this planet, Hugh Hefner certainly made his mark. He was celebrated as a sexual revolutionary, criticised as a misogynist, and will almost certainly be remembered as an American icon. Regardless of how we feel about Hef, however, we can't deny that he had a good run.
So what was it that eventually put an end to his extravagant and (some may say) decadent life?
Well, despite already being well into his 80s, Hefner's health only began to decline significantly a couple of years ago, after he contracted an infection which caused "a crippling back condition". According to his family, the Playboy founder had suffered from back problems prior to that, but his physical state deteriorated rapidly only after the infection, which made him bedridden.
From that point, he was unable to walk unassisted, yet he still attended public events and posed for photographs with "Playmates". That's hardly surprising, though, as he was always a "youthful" man at heart.
According to TMZ, however, Hef was eventually called up to the great Playboy Mansion in the sky after suffering from a bug he caught two weeks ago. The website also reports that the 91-year-old was surrounded by loved ones at the time, including three of his children - two of his sons, and his only daughter - as well as his second wife, Kimberly Conrad.
Hugh's oldest son, David, who is twice the age of Hef's third wife, Crystal Harris, was not present at the time, but appeared at a meal with his siblings on Thursday night. Harris was apparently not invited to the dinner, and it's not yet clear whether she was at her husband's side at his time of death.
In a statement on his father, Cooper Hefner said:
"My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.
"He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history.
"He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.'"
Hefner is due to be buried in the West Memorial Park in Los Angeles, something he'd planned since 1992, when he bought the plot next to Marilyn Monroe for a whopping $75,000. This might seem a little odd to some, as Monroe's pictures were used without consent in order to launch the first ever issue of Playboy, but it was Hefner's wish ever since he bought the plot of land.
Another strange bit of news that has been disclosed in the wake of Hefner's death is that Crystal Harris is not set to inherit anything from his estate, as she signed a prenup before their marriage, and was never added to his will. She has also yet to comment publicly on her husband's passing.
That's obviously because they got married for love, not money, right?