Before talking about the infamous rabbit logo and the Playboy magazine, let’s start with its creator himself – Hugh Hefner.
Hefner was born, on 9th April of 1926, and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He was a brilliant man with an IQ of 152 (with Einstein’s IQ being 160). He was academically intelligent, and started to show his true potential when he got into the world of journalism and writing.
Hugh had launched a school newspaper and even his own comic series named ‘School Daze’ when he was in high school, after which he enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight during the end of World War 2. After 2 years of service, he came back to resume his education, getting a degree on psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Soon after graduation, Hugh became the copywriter for Esquire, an American men’s magazine, which he later left when denied a $5 raise. He was already married to Millie Williams by then and unemployed, he decided to create his own publication, just like he did in high school. And, after investors gave him a total of $8000, with $1000 of it coming from his own mother, Hefner launched the Playboy magazine in 1953. The 1st issue was developed at his own house, with the addition of a purchased explicit photo of Marylin Monroe – which made it an instant hit!
However, things weren’t so great at home, and Hefner got divorced in 1959, adopting the lifestyle he tried to portray through the Playboy. Later, he became the symbol of his own creation, showcasing a single man’s luxurious life.
Even though Hugh became notorious for constantly being surrounded by exotic women, he used his platform to shed light on various honorable causes, and generously donated to several charities. Not only that, even Martin Luther King is known to have given his longest interview to Playboy magazine right after he received the Nobel Peace Prize.
While all credit of the Playboy Empire goes to Hefner for micromanaging every detail, he wasn’t actually the one to come up with its logo. It was designer Art Paul whose idea it was to use a bunny as it has a sexual connotation, and suited it up to look classy and professional.
The logo first appeared in the 2nd edition of the magazine in 1954, and not once has been edited since, unlike any other bigshot organizations of today. The image can be seen on every cover of the magazine – sometimes hidden and sometimes prominent.
Hugh Hefner passed away, at the age of 91, in the Playboy Mansion on 27th September 2017. His grave can be found right next to Marylin Monroe’s at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.