December 8, 2010

Chronicles of Chicago: Local Mom Helps Fund Sexual Revolution

As I look at the picture of the young man pictured above in front of his high school  on the northwest side of Chicago I wonder if he had any idea then the kind of impact he would have on the world? Most young men at the age of 16 have big boobs on their mind but how many really think about making a business out of it? That kid up there is of course Hugh Hefner and his impact on the sexual revolution is known to all.

Thanks to this:
First issue of Playboy published in 1953 featuring everyone's all-time favorite sex kitten Marilyn Monroe.

He was able to open this:

The original Playboy Mansion in downtown Chicago. In the front of the mansion there was a sign posted that was inscribed with the Latin "Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare" (if you don't swing, don't ring).
And this:

The original Playboy Club in downtown Chicago which anyone could become a member of. The price of membership was $25 for Chicago residents and $50 for out-of-towners.
Which gave the inspiration to create these:

Hef and the original Playboy Bunnies at the grand opening of the original Playboy Club. As a way give the Playboy Club a unique style the waitresses were dressed in a manner inspired by the company's logo and the Playboy Bunny was born.

None of this would have been possible without Playboy's first investor: Grace Caroline Hefner. Yes, if it wasn't for his mother, the Methodist school teacher, investing a thousand dollars in Hefner's first magazine every pubescent boy in America would have had a much better imagination. When young Hugh came to you and asked for money so he could start a nudie magazine you didn't slap him like my mother would have, you instead believed that he could do whatever he wanted in life. For your belief in your son, from the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you.

Sources for information and images taken from here, here, and here


  1. did you ever read gloria steinem's piece about when she worked at the bunny club? pretty funny :)

  2. anything is possible when you have people that believe in you, behind you.

  3. That's pretty awesome, I didn't know his mom gave him seed money. haha

  4. its just a pity he goes round looking so much like a nob these days by wearing his dressing gown all the time.

  5. HUGH IS THE MAN!!!!

    I think I'm going to name my kids after him.....

  6. LOL. I always loved the bunny outfits.

  7. I watched an E! Hollywood bio thingy on Hugh and it didn't mention that his mother was his original investor.

    How cool does that original Playboy club look?

  8. This is a really cool post. I had no idea about the background of Playboy! I'm shocked his mother gave him the money to start the magazine. Did she really know what it was going to be about?? Lol.

    I also didn't know Hefner was from Chicago. This might sound really strange coming from a girl, but I think the magazine might have stayed a little "classier" had it stayed in Chicago. When I think of Playboy now, I think of really cheap looking LA blonde girls with fake boobs. But I have actually seen my grandfather's collection of Playboys from the 50s and 60s and it was waaay better back then. The women were more beautiful and the stories were pretty cool. It prided itself on not just being a nudie magazine, but an intellectual magazine as well where important writers had quirky stories and inspiring essays published.

    I dunno, I'm clearly putting way too much thought into this, but I hate how it's become so blatantly cheap. LOL!


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