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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 diminished – over decades.
Hefner’s wealth was widely estimated to be about $50 million at the time of his death, though the market research firm Wealth-X told Business Insider that Hefner was worth at least $110 million, with roughly $45 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 about $200 million – mostly owing to the popularity of the men’s magazine 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 have declined severely over the years. (In 1999, Hefner’s 70% ownership of Playboy stock was valued as high as $399 million, according to The Telegraph.)
The question of who will inherit Hefner’s wealth is somewhat nebulous since it is unclear what his will entailed, though 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.”
Hefner has four surviving children, including his daughter Christie Hefner, who was the CEO of Playboy Enterprises for two decades until 2009, and his 26-year-old son, Cooper Hefner, who is Playboy’s chief creative officer.
The Mirror reported that Crystal Hefner, Hefner’s 31-year-old wife of five years, would “inherit nothing” of her late husband’s wealth because of an “iron-clad prenuptial agreement,” but that she would be “looked after.”