Hugh Hefner Net Worth

How much is Hugh Hefner Worth?

in Richest BusinessmenCEOs
Hugh Hefner Net Worth:
$50 Million

Hugh Hefner net worth: Hugh Hefner was an American entrepreneur and founder of Playboy magazine who had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death in September 2017.

Early Life: Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 9, 1926. He was the first child of Glenn Lucius Hefner and Grace Caroline Hefner. They were from Nebraska and worked as an accountant and a teacher, respectively. He has one younger sibling, Keith. Hefner attended Sayre Elementary School and Steinmetz High School. After high school, Hugh served from 1944-1946 as a U.S. Army writer for a military newspaper. Hefner graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1949. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a double minor in Creative Writing and Art in just two and a half years. He did one semester of graduate classes in Sociology at Northwestern but dropped out.

Playboy Magazine: In 1952, Hefner was working as a copywriter for Esquire magazine. He inquired about a $5 raise and when he was denied, he quit his job. The following year, he took out a mortgage loan of $600 and raised $8,000–including $1,000 from his mother–from investors to launch gentleman's magazine with the infamous centerfold, Playboy (initially, he was going to call the magazine Stag Party.) The first issue was published in December 1953, almost a year to the date after he quit Esquire. The first cover and centerfold was Marilyn Monroe, taken from her 1949 nude calendar shoot. The issue sold over 50,000 copies and sold for 50 cents apiece. Charles Beaumont's science fiction story, The Crooked Man, (having been rejected from Esquire) was published in the first issue. Hefner had produced the magazine in his Hyde Park Kitchen.

Hefner served as the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, which is the publishing group that operates the magazine. Hugh promoted a lifestyle of luxury in his magazine and in the television shows he hosted, Playboy's Penthouse from 1959-1960 and Playboy After Dark from 1969-1970.

In June 1963, Hefner was arrested for promoting obscene materials after publishing an issue of Playboy featuring nudes photos of Jane Mansfield in bed with a man. The case went to trial and the result was a hung jury.

Hugh created "private key" clubs that were racially diverse during the civil rights movement. In 1966, Hefner sent Alex Haley (an African American man) to interview George Lincoln Rockwell, who had founded the American Nazi Party. Rockwell had agreed to be interviewed by Haley, only after gaining assurance he was not Jewish, and Rockwell reportedly kept a handgun on the desk during the entire interview. The historic interview was reenacted in the television series Roots: The Next Generations in 1979, with James Earl Jones playing Haley and Marlon Brando as Rockwell. Brando ended up winning an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Rockwell. Haley also interviewed Malcolm X in 1963 and Martin Luther King Junior in 1966. Strangely, all three interviewees had been assassinated by 1968.

The magazine has continued to publish short stories by famous novelists such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, Chuck Palahniuk, Roald Dahl, Margaret Atwood, Shel Silverstein, and countless others. In 1953, the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was published and serialized in 1954 issues of Playboy.

Although the magazine reached its peak in the '70s and moved from a monthly magazine to a quarterly one in 2019, it still continues to enjoy popularity and circulation.

HECTOR MATA/AFP via Getty Image

Playboy Mansion: The 21 thousand square foot Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California is where Hugh lived from 1974 until his death in 2017. The mansion became famous in the 70s for the lavish parties Hugh would throw, attended by celebrities and socialites. The mansion boasts an astonishing 29 rooms, a wine cellar, a movie theater, three zoos, tennis and basketball courts, a waterfall and multiple pools. Interestingly, most people assume Hugh himself actually owned the famous Playboy mansion, but in fact he did not. Playboy Enterprises owned the house and Hefner paid an annual fee to cover rent and other expenses like food and parties. In typical years, that rent came to around $1 million. And yes, that also includes the room and board for Hefner's live-in girlfriends. In January 2016, Playboy Enterprises announced that it had put the mansion up for sale for $200 million. A comparable house in the same neighborhood would likely be worth $60 – $80 million, so it's a hefty premium… but there's only one Playboy Mansion in the world! The mansion was bought in June 2016 for $110 million by Daren Metropoulos. Daren, who was 32 at the time of Hefner's death, is the son of billionaire businessman C. Dean Metropoulos. His father is well known for reviving sagging brands like Hostess, Bumble Bee Tuna, Pabst, and Chef Boyardee. As of April 2020, the Playboy Mansion is undergoing extensive renovations.

Personal Life: Hefner married high school sweetheart Mildred Williams in 1949. Before their wedding, Mildred confessed to Hefner that she'd had an affair while he was in the Army. He has said publicly that the admission was devastating. Reportedly, Mildred allowed him to sleep with other women out of guilt for her own infidelity. The two split in 1959. They had two kids together, Christie and David. After the divorce, Hef remade himself as a "man about town", in line with the lifestyle he promoted in Playboy. He admitted to being involved with eleven out of twelve months' worth of Playmates. After a minor stroke at age 58 in 1985, Hefner toned down his lifestyle and married Kimberley Conrad who was 36 years his junior. They had two sons, Marston and Cooper. They officially divorced in 2010, but had been separated for over a decade. He married a third wife, Crystal Harris (now Hefner) and they were together from 2012 until his death.

Appearances: Hugh Hefner voiced himself in a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, Krusty Gets Kancelled. Hefner also guest starred as himself in a 2000 episode of Sex and the City. In 2005, he guest-starred on Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Other television guest appearances include Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and Miss March. He has made several guest appearances in films as well. From 2005 to 2010, Hugh created and appeared often in a reality show about his life and his many girlfriends who lived with him at the Playboy Mansion: The Girls Next Door.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Net Worth: According to paperwork filed in 2009 as part of a divorce, Hugh Hefner estimated his own net worth to be $43 million. At the peak of Playboy, Hefner's net worth was over $200 million. Unfortunately, the company did not perform well over the last 10-15 years as magazine sales have diminished rapidly. In the period between 2000 and 2010, Playboy's stock price fell 80%. The company was taken private in 2011 by Hefner and private equity firm Icon Acquisition Holdings. Another private equity firm called Rizvi Traverse eventually bought out Icon. At the time of his death, Hefner owned 35% of the Playboy brand and 100% of the actual magazine.

Here is how Hefner broke down his own finances in a court filing back in 2009:

Monthly income:

  • Salary from Playboy: $116,667
  • Social Security: $1,896
  • Dividends and interest: $121,099
  • Rental property: $17,058
  • Income from HMH Productions: $15,808
  • Pensions and retirement: $413
  • Other miscellaneous income: $17,639

Total monthly income: $290,580

Other Assets:

  • $306,548 in cash
  • $36,802,558 in stocks and bonds
  • $6,122,990 in a joint account with an unnamed person

Total assets (including Playboy stock and property): $43,232,096

And here's how Hugh spends his millions per month:

  • Rent (including groceries, household supplies, utilities, cell phone and email): $53,593
  • Food (approximate): $18,000
  • Entertainment: $25,000
  • College expenses for kids: $10,130
  • Health care: $3,215

Related Post: How much do Playboy Playmates make?

Death: On September 27, 2017, Hugh died at his home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. He was 91. The cause of death was sepsis that was brought on by an E. coli infection. He never met Marilyn Monroe, but in 1992 he purchased the crypt next to hers at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery to the tune of $75,000. Hefner is buried there. He had told the Los Angeles Times in 2009: "Spending eternity next to Marilyn is an opportunity too sweet to pass up."

Hugh Hefner Net Worth

Hugh Hefner

Net Worth:$50 Million
Date of Birth:Apr 9, 1926 - Sep 27, 2017 (91 years old)
Gender:Male
Height:5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
Profession:Journalist, Businessperson, Editor, Actor, Film Producer, Entrepreneur, Publisher
Nationality:United States of America
Last Updated:2020
All net worths are calculated through the combination of a robust methodology and a proprietary algorithm. The results are fact checked and confirmed by a team of editors and industry insiders. We work diligently to ensure that our numbers are the most accurate celebrity net worth data you will find anywhere on the internet.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction
Discussion