The Playboy logo
CEOBen Kohn
CategoriesMen's magazines
FrequencyMonthly (1953–2016)
Bimonthly (2017–2018)
Quarterly (2019–2020)
PublisherPlayboy Enterprises
Total circulation
FounderHugh Hefner
Year foundedOctober 1, 1953[2]
First issueDecember 1, 1953
Final issueMarch 17, 2020
CountryUnited States
Based inBeverly Hills, California
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Playboy is an American men's lifestyle and entertainment magazine, formerly in print and currently online. It was founded in Chicago in 1953, by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother.[3] Notable for its centerfolds of nude and semi-nude[4] models (Playmates), Playboy played an important role in the sexual revolution[5] and remains one of the world's best-known brands, having grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PEI), with a presence in nearly every medium.[6] In addition to the flagship magazine in the United States, special nation-specific versions of Playboy are published worldwide.

The magazine has a long history of publishing short stories by novelists such as Arthur C. Clarke,[7] Ian Fleming,[7] Vladimir Nabokov,[8] Saul Bellow, Chuck Palahniuk, P. G. Wodehouse,[7] Roald Dahl,[9] Haruki Murakami, and Margaret Atwood.[7] With a regular display of full-page color cartoons, it became a showcase for notable cartoonists, including Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Cole,[10] Eldon Dedini,[11] Jules Feiffer,[12] Shel Silverstein,[13] Erich Sokol,[7] Roy Raymonde,[14] Gahan Wilson, and Rowland B. Wilson.[15] Playboy features monthly interviews of notable public figures, such as artists, architects, economists, composers, conductors, film directors, journalists, novelists, playwrights, religious figures, politicians, athletes, and race car drivers. The magazine generally reflects a liberal editorial stance, although it often interviews conservative celebrities.[16]

The front cover of the first issue of Playboy, featuring Marilyn Monroe, December 1953

After a year-long removal of most nude photos in Playboy magazine, the March–April 2017 issue brought back nudity.[17]

In March 2020, Ben Kohn, CEO of Playboy Enterprises, announced that the Spring 2020 issue would be the last regularly scheduled printed issue and that the magazine would now publish its content online.[18] The decision to close the print edition was attributed in part to the COVID-19 pandemic which interfered with distribution of the magazine.[18]

  1. ^ Kelly, Keith J. (April 16, 2019). "Playboy magazine circulation has dipped over the past year". New York Post. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "Playboy Enterprises, Inc". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Seib, Christine (December 9, 2008). "Hefner's Daughter Christie Walks Away from Playboy Enterprises". The Times. London. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  4. ^ "Playboy 'to drop' naked women images". BBC News. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Why America loved Playboy". BBC News. October 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  6. ^ Wray, Richard (November 13, 2009). "Iconix 'makes offer for Playboy'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e Steven Watts (August 24, 2009). Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream. Wiley. pp. 80, 91, 111, 144, 152, 190. ISBN 978-0-470-52167-0.
  8. ^ Samuel Schuman (1979). Vladimir Nabokov, A Reference Guide. p. 61.
  9. ^ "11 great authors who wrote for Hugh Hefner's Playboy". BBC. September 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Art Spiegelman (2001). Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits. Chronicle Books. p. 126. ISBN 0-8118-3179-5.
  11. ^ Eldon Dedini (2006). An Orgy of Playboy's Eldon Dedini. Fantagraphics Books. p. 8. ISBN 1-56097-727-2.
  12. ^ Stephen E. Kercher (2006). Revel with a Cause: Liberal Satire in Postwar America. University Of Chicago Press. p. 480. ISBN 0-226-43164-9.
  13. ^ Shel Silverstein (2007). Playboy's Silverstein Around the World. Fireside. ISBN 978-0-7432-9024-1.
  14. ^ Bryant, Mark (October 19, 2009). "Roy Raymonde: Cartoonist noted for his work in 'Punch' and 'Playboy'". The Independent. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Blog Archive » "We All Have To Start Somewhere" Department. Case in Point No.11". February 3, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  16. ^ "Film Review: Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel". July 20, 2010. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Bennett, Jessica (August 2, 2019). "Will the Millennials Save Playboy? - The Hefners are gone, and so is the magazine's short-lived ban on nudity — as well as virtually anyone on the staff over 35". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Gibson, Kate (March 19, 2020). "Coronavirus kills 66-year-old Playboy". CBS News. Retrieved March 19, 2020.

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