Hugh Hefner. The name itself is synonymous with sex, beautiful women, and the envy of men across the globe. When he was born to parents Glenn and Grace Hefner in Chicago, on April 9, 1926, no one would have any idea that they had just birthed a man that would help spark and sustain the sexual revolution.
It wouldn’t be until he was 27-years-old that he launched the magazine and brand that would end up making him a very wealthy man. But when Playboy hit the shelves for the first time in December 1953, not only did it help spark the the change in culture in regard to sexuality, it would also help cement Marilyn Monroe as one of Hollywood’s most iconic sex symbols, ever.
Hef was a man on a mission from a young age, and a lot can happen in 27 years, and the years leading up to his brilliant idea are just as important as the years afterwards, living in the Mansion.
Even when he was in high school, there were clear signs that Hef was meant to go onto bigger and better things.
His teachers described his academic performance as “modest,” but according to reports, Hef had an IQ score over 150, which for those that don’t know, puts him well above the majority of people in this world. In fact, his score was starting to flirt with genius level intellect.
While he was a student at Steinmetz High School, he ended up becoming the president of the school’s student council, and he even helped found the school’s first newspaper, a clear sign of his journalistic abilities and dreams. He even tried his hand at comics, creating his own comic book, School Daze.
In fact, he was still funding his old high school newspaper right up until the time of his death.
Hefner’s journey was a real “follow your dreams” type of story, which grew out of an idea before it flourished into what we know today as Playboy.
After high school, he decided that it was his turn to serve his country, and towards the end of World War II, that is just what he did, serving in the army between 1944 and 1946.
He served as a noncombatant during his two years in the army before being discharged. Once he was out of uniform, he decided to continue his education, which also took him down a few different paths.