Hugh Hefner

R.T. Rybak

Hugh Hefner, the creator of the famous Playboy franchise, is a businessman, publisher, and CEO of Playboy enterprise, an adult literature publishing company. He is also an ordained minister.

Hugh spent his early years working for Esquire as well as serving as a writer for the US Army. The Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award was created by Christie Hefner “to honor individuals who have made significant contributions in the vital effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for Americans.”

Hugh has donated and raised money the restoration of the Hollywood Sign. He hosted a gala fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion and personally contributed $27,000 (or 1/9 of the total restoration costs) by purchasing the letter Y in a ceremonial auction. Hefner donated $100,000 to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts to create a course called “Censorship in Cinema,” and $2 million to endow a chair for the study of American film. Both through his charitable foundation and individually, Hefner also contributes to charities outside the sphere of politics and publishing, throwing fundraiser events for Much Love Animal Rescue as well as Generation Rescue, a controversial anti-vaccinationist campaign organization supported by Jenny McCarthy.
He was also presented with the first-ever Founder’s Hero of the Heart Award in appreciation for his unwavering dedication, commitment and generosity.