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When did the first issue of Playboy appear?
Our first issue hit newsstands in December 1953. Seventy thousand copies were printed.
Where did the name Playboy come from?
It was suggested by a friend after the original name Hugh Hefner had chosen, Stag Party, was challenged as a trademark infringement by Stag magazine. Hef asked artist Arv Miller to change his dapper buck mascot into a rabbit.
Why is there no date on the cover?
Hef had so little money, he wasn't sure there would ever be a second issue.
How many copies did the first issue sell?
At 50 cents each, Hef sold 54,175 copies of his first, 44-page issue of Playboy, a phenomenal return for a new magazine that had little advance publicity.
Why did it sell so well?
Largely because of its Centerfold -- a nude shot of Marilyn Monroe that Hef purchased from a local calendar printer.
What else did the issue contain?
A Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an article on the Dorsey brothers and a feature on desk design for the modern office, "Gentlemen, Be Seated." Hef wrote much of the copy himself and drew all the cartoons.
What did Hefner tell readers of his first issue to expect from Playboy?
On the issue's first page, Hef wrote:
If you're a man between the ages of 18 and 80, Playboy is meant for you. If you like your entertainment served up with humor, sophistication and spice, Playboy will become a very special favorite.
We want to make it clear from the very start, we aren't a "family magazine." If you're somebody's sister, wife or mother-in-law and picked us up by mistake, please pass us along to the man in your life and get back to your Ladies Home Companion.
Within the pages of Playboy you will find articles, fiction, picture stories, cartoons, humor and special features culled from many sources, past and present, to form a pleasure-primer styled to the masculine taste.
Most of today's "magazines for men" spend all their time out-of-doors -- thrashing through thorny thickets or splashing about in fast-flowing streams. We'll be out there too, occasionally, but we don't mind telling you in advance -- we plan on spending most of our time inside. We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d'oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.
We believe too, that we are filling a publishing need only slightly less important than the one just taken care of by the Kinsey Report. The magazines now being produced for the city-bred male (there are two -- count 'em -- two of them) have, of late, placed so much emphasis on fashion, travel and "how-to-do-it" features on everything from avoiding a hernia to building your own steam bath, that entertainment has been all but pushed from their pages. Playboy will emphasize entertainment.
Why doesn't Hef's name appear in the issue?
If the magazine failed, he felt it would be easier to find another job in the industry. The second issue and every one thereafter has contained his name.
What is Playboy?
Playboy is the leading men's magazine in the world. It contains award-winning fiction and investigative articles, humor, in-depth interviews and pictorials featuring the world's most beautiful women.
Who owns Playboy?
Playboy is owned by Playboy Enterprises Inc., a global media and entertainment company. PEI also operates the Playboy Catalog; creates and distributes programming for domestic pay television, worldwide home video and international television; and markets the Playboy trademarks on apparel, accessories and other products sold throughout the world. PEI's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (PSE: PLA A, PLA).
Who founded Playboy?
The magazine was founded by Hugh Marston Hefner, then 27, in 1953. He is editor-in-chief of the magazine. His daughter, Christie Hefner, is the chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
What is Playboy's circulation?
Playboy's circulation is more than three million copies in the United States and 4.5 million worldwide. Our most widely circulated issue appeared in November 1972 and sold 7,161,561 copies. The largest in size was the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary issue in January 1979, which weighed in at 414 pages.
Where is the magazine located?
Playboy's editorial offices are located in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. From 1967 until 1990, Playboy headquarters were located in what became known as the Playboy Building at 919 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The nine-foot-high letters that spelled out PLAYBOY were a well-known part of the Chicago skyline.
How do I contact Playboy?
You'll find e-mail addresses to reach our various departments in our @playboy directory. The magazine's snail mail address is 730 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10019.
Is Playboy pornography?
Playboy covers many subjects that interest men, and naturally women and sex are among those interests. Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, who fields this question often, gives this response: "For those people who enjoy reading Playboy, there's no dichotomy in the fact the magazine has an erotic component and an intellectual, humorous and celebrity component; that is the world they would like to live in. For people who find sex dangerous, troubling or offputting, anything with sex in it carries negative connotations."
Does anybody really read Playboy for the articles?
The articles may not be the first part of the magazine most readers turn to, but judging from the letters we get, millions of Playboy readers also enjoy our award-winning journalism, humor and fiction. The only people who can rightfully claim to read it solely for the articles are the thousands of blind readers who peruse our Braille edition, which has been distributed by the Library of Congress since 1970.
Would Playboy sell so well if it didn't have naked women in it?
Probably not. We'll never know.