Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire, died Wednesday evening at the age of 91 — leaving behind a brand worth millions and a fortune that accumulated, and dissipated, over decades.
Hefner’s wealth was widely estimated to be around $US50 million at the time of his death, though market researcher Wealth-X told Business Insider that Hefner was worth at least $US110 million, with roughly $US45 million in liquid assets.
According to The Telegraph, at the height of Playboy’s success in the early 1970s, Hefner was reported to be worth around $US200 million for the men’s magazine that he founded in 1953.
The outlet reported that Hefner owned 35% of the Playboy brand at the time of his death. He also owned 100% of the magazine itself, the sales of which had declined severely over the years. (His 70% ownership of Playboy stock was valued as high as $US399 million in 1999, according to the The Telegraph.)
The question of who will inherit Hefner’s wealth is somewhat nebulous since it is unclear what his will entailed.
Hefner does have four surviving children, including his daughter, Christie Hefner, who was the CEO of Playboy Enterprises for two decades until 2008.
Cooper Hefner, his 26-year-old son, is currently the Chief Creative Office for Playboy.
The Mirror reported that Crystal Hefner, Hefner’s 30-year-old wife of five years, will “inherit nothing” of her late husband’s wealth, due to an “iron-clad prenuptial agreement.” The outlet does stipulate, however, that Crystal will be “looked after.”
US Weekly reported in 2013 that Hefner’s wealth would be left to “his children, the University of Southern California film school and a variety of charities.”
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