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And his pioneering magazine, his biggest legacy, may have helped the buttoned-up America of the 1950s and early 1960s loosen up a little about sex."I would like to be remembered as somebody who has changed the world in some positive way, in a social, sexual sense, and I'd be very happy with that," Hefner told CNN.In 1989, Hefner -- who had divorced his first wife, Millie, 30 years earlier -- married Kimberly Conrad, a 26-year-old former Playmate of the Year with whom he fathered two boys.The couple separated in 1998 and eventually divorced."I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient." As if to prove his point, Playboy published articles and short fiction by some of the most celebrated writers of the day, including Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Carl Sagan, John Updike and Vladimir Nabokov -- inadvertently creating a joke phrase, "I only read Playboy for the articles." The magazine also earned respect for its lengthy interviews with high-profile figures like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and Jimmy Carter, who made headlines after granting Playboy an interview during his 1976 campaign for president."I have looked on a lot of women with lust," Carter told the magazine, startling many readers. God recognizes I will do this and forgives me." As Playboy flourished in the '60s and '70s, Hefner steadily expanded his brand.Some critics dismissed him as a relic of a sexist era, especially in his later years, when Hefner spoke openly of his Viagra-fueled sex romps at the Playboy Mansion.But many men envied his adolescent-fantasy lifestyle.
The premiere issue had no date, in case it sold poorly and there wasn't a second issue.He was also arrested in 1963 on charges that Playboy violated obscenity laws, but a jury acquitted him after a trial."I've never thought of Playboy, quite frankly, as a sex magazine," he told CNN.By the 1980s, the Playboy franchise had lost much of its popularity.After Hefner suffered a minor stroke in 1985, he stepped down as CEO and turned over all Playboy business operations to his daughter, Christie, who guided the company's fledgling cable TV channel but shuttered its foundering Playboy Clubs.