Whether you think of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who died of natural causes at age 91 last night, as an iconic visionary, a glorified sexist, or a nuanced persona who defies labels, he has left behind a giant empire. And now, questions of who will inherit what are swirling around.
Hefner, who had been building his Playboy empire since he launched the magazine in 1953, at age 27, had an estimated net worth of $50 million at the time of his death. However, various sources pin his net worth at different numbers. After his last divorce, in 2009, Hefner himself estimated it at $43 million. And market researcher Wealth-X told Business Insider that he's worth at least $110 million, with about $45 million in liquid assets.
At the height of Playboy's popularity in the 1970s, Hefner was estimated to be worth around $200 million, but since then, the circulation of Playboy magazine has dropped off — and consequently, so have profits. Hefner owned 35% of the Playboy brand and the entire magazine when he died, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He also had $36 million in stocks and bonds to his name, and $6 million in a joint account "with an unnamed person." His monthly income was almost $300,000, with over $100,000 coming from the magazine.
Hefner's 31-year-old wife Crystal Harris — his third, whom he married in 2012 on New Year's Eve at the Playboy Mansion — will reportedly not inherit any of his wealth. A source told Us Weekly after their wedding that she had signed an "ironclad" pre-nuptial agreement that says she hasn't been added to her husband's will. His fortune will instead go to "his children, the University of Southern California film school, and a variety of charities," the source said.
He is survived by four children: Christie Hefner, who was the CEO of Playboy Enterprises for 20 years and has made Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women in the World list multiple times; David Hefner, who is private and stays out of the spotlight; Marston Hefner, who describes himself as a "writer and gamer"; and Cooper Hefner, Playboy's chief creative officer. Cooper Hefner posted a tribute to his father on Instagram earlier today.