Playboy's Hugh Hefner

Playboy's Hugh Hefner: Empire of Skin (cover art)

Playboy's Hugh Hefner: Empire of Skin (back cover art)

Empire of Skin

Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince

Hugh Hefner, the Playboy of the Western World, was a visionary publisher, an empire-builder, an avatar of pleasure, and a pajama-clad pipe-smoker with a pre-coital grin.

In 1953, he published his first edition of Playboy, with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and her nude calendar inside. He obtained the rights for $500 with money borrowed from his puritanical Nebraska-born mother.

Rebelling against his strict upbringing, he lost his virginity at the age of 22. "I made up for my late start. In three years, I reached Don Juan's legendary benchmark of 1,003 conquests."

Playboy, punctuated with nudes and studded with articles by major literary figures, rapidly increased its circulation, reaching its zenith at eight million readers. In addition to his role as a "tasteful pornographer," Hef became a cultural warrior, fighting government censorship all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Post Office refused to deliver his magazine to its subscribers. As the years and his notoriety progressed, he became an advocate of abortion, LGBT equality, and the legalization of pot.  Eventually, he engaged in "pubic wars" with Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse, which cut into Hef's sales.

Lauded by millions of avid readers, he was denounced by feminists for exploiting women, and defined as "the father of sex addiction," "a huckster," "a lecherous low-brow feeder of our vices," "a misogynist," and, near the end of his life, "a symbol of priapic senility."

During his heyday, some of the biggest male stars in Hollywood, including Warren Beatty, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mick Jagger, and Jack Nicholson, came to frolic behind Hef's guarded walls, stripping nude in the hot tube grotto before sampling the rotating beds upstairs. A voice of doom, Malcolm X, directly warned him that "the day of the white man will soon be finished." Even a future U.S. president came to call. "Donald Trump had an appreciation of Bunny tail," Hef said.

Hefner's last Viagra-fueled marriage was to a beautiful blonde, Crystal Harris, 60 years his junior. "There's nothing wrong in a man marrying a girl who could be his great-granddaughter," he was famously quoted as saying.

This ground-breaking biography, the latest in Blood Moon's string of outrageously unvarnished myth-busters, is the first published since Hefner's death at the age of 91 in 2017. It is a provocative saga, rich in tantalizing, often shocking detail―definitely not for the sanctimonious or the faint of heart.

Details

Paperback 978-1-936003-59-4 $34.95
Trim size 6x9 Ppg 650

Video links for Playboy's Hugh Hefner

Print links for Playboy's Hugh Hefner

Book Release News

About the Author:

“Darwin Porter is the master of guilty pleasures. There is nothing like reading him for passing the hours. He is the Nietzsche of Naughtiness, the Goethe of Gossip, the Proust of Pop Culture. Porter knows all the nasty buzz anyone has ever heard whispered in dark bars, dim alleys, and confessional booths. And lovingly, precisely, and in as straightforward a manner as an oncoming train, his prose whacks you between the eyes with the greatest gossip since Kenneth Anger. Some would say better than Anger.” (as quoted from Alan W. Petrucelli’s THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT at Examiner.com).

Porter began his career writing about politics and the entertainment industry for Knight Newspapers and The Miami Herald. Today, he’s one of the most prolific biographers in the world. His portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Howard Hughes, John and Jackie Kennedy, Paul Newman, Merv Griffin, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Michael Jackson have generated widespread reviews and animated radio and blogsite commentaries worldwide. Some of his biographies have been serialized to millions of readers in The Sunday Times of London and The Mail on Sunday.

Porter is also the well-known original author of many editions of The Frommer Guides, a respected travel guidebook series that’s among the most prominent and well-respected in the world.

Blood Moon

For a discussion about the secrets we're uncovering these days, and the way other media have been covering us, check out our Facebookpage and our Twitter feed.

 

Our Books

Blood Moon has been variously described as "feisty," and "fiercely independent," as a quick overview of our backlist will show.

About Us

Blood Moon Productions is a New York City-based publishing enterprise dedicated to researching, salvaging, and indexing the previously unrecorded oral histories of America's entertainment industry.

Challenge

Blood Moon supports literacy as an enduring weapon against the unthinking stupidity of the postmodern age. Challenge and improve your mind: READ SOMETHING!