Hugh Hefner, a publishing icon and champion of free speech, died peacefully Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion while surrounded by loved ones. After famously being turned down for a raise while working as a copywriter for Esquire in the early 1950s, Hefner ditched that job and raised money to launch what would eventually become Playboy magazine. The publication quickly became an unparalleled outlet for the promotion of America's sexual revolution, as well as a home for some of the most essential long-reads in publishing history.

Wednesday night and early Thursday, tributes from those closely connected with the magazine's history, as well as those who supported its ideals from afar, started pouring in across social media and elsewhere. Some—including Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and Jenny McCarthy—fondly recalled their memorable Playboy shoots. Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, touted Hefner for his support of the civil rights movement.

Image via Playboy

See a selection of Hefner tributes, also including parting words from Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra, below:


Goodbye #Hef Mr Hefner I have so many thoughts, I have no brain n right now to edit I am me because of you You taught me everything important about freedom and respect. Outside of my family You were the most important person in my life. You gave me my life... People tell me all the time That I was your favorite... I'm in such deep shock. But you were old, your back hurt you so much. Last time I saw you You were using a walker. You didn't want me to see. You couldn't hear. You had a piece of paper in your pocket you showed me - with my name Pamela with a heart around it. Now, I'm falling apart. This feeling is so crazy. It's raining in Paris now. I'm by the window. Everything anyone loves about me is because you understood me. Accepted me and encouraged me to be myself. Love like no one else. Live recklessly With unfiltered abandon. You said the magazine was about a girl like me. That I embody the spirit you fantasized about. I was the one. You said. I can hear you say - Be brave. There are no rules. Live your life I'm proud of you. There are no mistakes. And with men - Enjoy ... (Your wonderful laugh) You have the world by the tail You are a good girl And you are so loved - You are not crazy. You are wild and free Stay strong, Stay vulnerable. ... "It's movie time" You loved my boys ... You were always, always there for us. With your love Your crazy wisdom. I will miss your everything. Thank you for making the world a better place. A freeer and sexier place. You were a gentleman charming, elegant, chivalrous And so much fun. Goodbye Hef ... Your Pamela 💋

A post shared by The Pamela Anderson Foundation (@pamelaanderson) on Sep 27, 2017 at 11:35pm PDT


La piscine #playboy #neverforget

A post shared by The Pamela Anderson Foundation (@pamelaanderson) on Sep 28, 2017 at 1:54am PDT

Hefner was 91 years old at the time of his death. Since first introducing the inaugural edition of Playboy back in 1953, Hefner spent six decades guiding the publication through the publishing industry's exponential format changes. Playboy Enterprises, the multimedia company that houses every facet of the Playboy brand, is now under the guidance of Hugh's son, Cooper Hefner, as its Chief Creative Officer.


A post shared by Playboy (@playboy) on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:16pm PDT


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