Happy Birthday, Hugh Hefner!

WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY? Did you invent a media empire? Did you canoodle with a dozen beautiful women named for every month of the year? Did you hang with the peacocks by your grotto at the Mansion? Hand Sammy Davis Jr. a slobbering Saint Bernard puppy on your own late-night TV show? Did you take a private jet with a bunny on its side and twenty frisky ones in its belly? Did you do some good for civil liberties, and do it all in your silk pajamas?

No. No you didn’t.

You know who does all that in a day, and more? That would be our boss, and also your boss, that is, THE BOSS, Mr. Hugh Hefner. Man, legend, benefactor to gents around the globe for lo, these 60 years.

As it happens, today is Hef’s birthday, and the bossman’s turning 88 years young. Hef, famous for saying, “I’m the luckiest cat on the planet” (and can anyone disagree? Srlsy?), published the first issue of Playboy magazine back in 1953. You know the girl on the cover. Name starts with an “M” and ends in “Monroe.” The rest is a pop-culture history, jam-packed with interviews, centerfolds, and even you-read-it-for-the-content best of American fiction.

What’s keeping Hef so young? The answer may be self-evident, however, apart from his new bride, Crystal Hefner, and all the frolicking Playmates at hand, there’s also good genes to thank: Hef’s mother lived to the ripe age 101!


  1. Hef owns the sometimes vowel, the letter Y, in the Hollywood Sign. No joke! In 1978, Hefner helped organize fundraising efforts that led to the restoration of the Hollywood Sign, and purchased the letter Y for $27,000 (or 1/9 of the total restoration costs)  in a ceremonial auction.
  2. The Sylvilagus palustris hefneri, an endangered subspecies of Marsh rabbit, is named after Hefner in honor of his financial support for the cause.
  3. Hefner donated $100,000 to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to create a course called “Censorship in Cinema,” and $2 million to endow a chair for the study of American film.

How to celebrate Hugh Hefner on his birthday, you ask? First, tweet him your best wishes HERE.

Next, pull on yer smoking jacket. Light up a pipe. (No, not your bong.) We’d suggest you peruse some vintage copies of Playboy today. All day, yeah. Call in sick! Today’s kind of a big deal.

Feeling extra nice? Throw some cash at the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award.

And remember Hef’s wise words: “There’s a good deal more to relationships than girls having their ankles above their heads.”

True dat.

 Check out Playboy.com’s Interactive Timeline HERE

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Video Dump: Vintage Clips of Hef 
Take a Whiff of the Mansion Fried Chicken