Gerrad Hall
September 28, 2017 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Hugh Hefner, the Playboy magazine founder and editor-in-chief who died Wednesday at age 91, left an indelible mark on American culture and sexuality. Though he was a polarizing figure — an icon of virility and rakishness to some, a smut peddler to others — Hefner’s death triggered an outpouring of tributes on social media.

Jenny McCarthy, whose career launcher after her 1993 photo spread and was later a Playmate of the Year, thanked Hef, as he was affectionately called by so many, as “for being a revolutionary and changing so many people’s lives, especially mine.” KISS singer Gene Simmons remembered Hefner as “a great man, entrepreneur, and innovator. Your legacy lives on.”

“Hugh Hefner was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement,” Jesse Jackson wrote on Twitter. “We shall never forget him. May he Rest in Peace.” TV host and author Adam Richman said he was “saddened” by the news: “Whatever you think of the magazine, he was smart, an entrepreneur & one of the nicest men I’ve ever met.”

See some of the reactions below.

Goodbye #Hef Mr Hefner I have so many thoughts, I have no brain n right now to edit I am me because of you You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. Outside of my family You were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life… People tell me all the time That I was your favorite… I'm in such deep shock. But you were old, your back hurt you so much. Last time I saw you You were using a walker. You didn't want me to see. You couldn't hear. You had a piece of paper in your pocket you showed me – with my name Pamela with a heart around it. Now, I'm falling apart. This feeling is so crazy. It's raining in Paris now. I'm by the window. Everything anyone loves about me is because you understood me. Accepted me and encouraged me to be myself. Love like no one else. Live recklessly With unfiltered abandon. You said the magazine was about a girl like me. That I embody the spirit you fantasized about. I was the one. You said. I can hear you say – Be brave. There are no rules. Live your life I'm proud of you. There are no mistakes. And with men – Enjoy … (Your wonderful laugh) You have the world by the tail You are a good girl And you are so loved – You are not crazy. You are wild and free Stay strong, Stay vulnerable. … "It's movie time" You loved my boys … You were always, always there for us. With your love Your crazy wisdom. I will miss your everything. Thank you for making the world a better place. A freeer and sexier place. You were a gentleman charming, elegant, chivalrous And so much fun. Goodbye Hef … Your Pamela 💋

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