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.