35 EMPIRE The story of magazine publisher Hugh Hefner's personal "playboy" world. of girls. Captions read : "Hef in Miami"- "Hef discusses the next scene"—"Hef has fun in his pool, which has all the charm of an island grotto," and so on. The transition from Goo Heller of Stinkmuch High to Hef having fun in his pool was a long, complicated and some- times painful one. Hefner reasons: "My whole early life was a telescoping of the puritanical, unproductive years that the entire country went through. Maybe I have become a symptom of revolt because of that, and because I was never really free until the day my magazine was born. Before then I had lived through one series of restrictions after another." According to Hefner, the first restrictions were imposed by his parents, who came from strongly religious German- Swedish farmer stock in Nebraska and moved to Chicago, where Hefner and his younger brother Keith were born and raised. (His father and brother now work for him, as accountant and club manager respectively.) Says Hefner, "My father and mother gave us intellectual freedom and we were taught to ask questions and come to our own conclusions, but they imposed rigid Protestant fundamentalist ethics on us. There was no drinking, no smoking, no swearing, no going to movies on Sunday. Worst of all was their attitude toward sex, which they considered a horrid thing never to be mentioned. This led to serious conflicts when I entered high school. I remember the early embarrassment of just putting my arm around a girl. I was very introverted, and this became one of the most difficult periods of my life. So I withdrew into fantasies. First I collected all kinds of butterflies and animals. Later I escaped into fantasy by writing and drawing. It didn't help that my mother was the strong parent and that I was brought up almost entirely under her supervision. My father was an accountant for an aluminum company. He worked late every night and I hardly ever saw him." Young Hefner's fantasies prompted the creation of his Goo Heifer autobiography in cartoon form, in which he expressed his unhappiness. There was a slight reanimation of the Hefner spirit in his senior year at Chicago's Steinmetz High School when he began to date girls and became a popular cartoonist on his school paper. But then the walls of restriction closed in again. World War II was being fought, and after he was graduated in 1944 he went directly into the Army at the age of seventeen. "It was a jarring experience," he says. "Here I was, being told what to do and what not to do all over again." Because he could type, Hefner served as a company clerk in a variety of replacement centers in the United States, and he was discharged without any particular distinction in June, 1946. "I wouldn't say," Chicago: At his Playboy Club Hefner as master of the revels does the twist with Cynthia Maddox, one of his recent cover girls. The club exacts a high price from the pleasure-seekers who come to drink, listen and leer.
1962_04_28--034_SP Czar of Bunny World
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