The American icon who founded the famous magazine in 1953 passed away at the age of 91 yesterday. According to Playboy Enterprises, he died from natural causes at the Playboy Mansion.

Hugh Hefner (L)

Hugh Hefner (L) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Playboy magazine founder and publisher Hugh Hefner died Wednesday at the age of 91. “The American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.

Hefner became famous immediately after the first issue of Playboy, which featured a nude centerfold of Marilyn Monroe, was published in 1953. During the same year, Hefner founded Playboy Enterprises and remained a board member until the day he died.

The Playboy founder also led free-speech battles when the U.S. Post Office refused to deliver his subscribers through subscribers. He eventually won his case when it reached the US Supreme Court.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper said in a statement. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history.”