Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Playboy


Playboy, a magazine aimed at the single American male, first appeared in December of 1953. Written and conceived by Hugh Hefner in his Hyde Park apartment, the magazine featured a combination of articles on music, lewd jokes, short fiction, and perhaps most striking, a nude photo of Marilyn Monroe.

Unlike other popular contemporary men's magazines, Playboy was directly concerned with addressing the issue of sex and sexuality. Each month, it instructed men in the delicate art of sophisticated seduction, with a strong emphasis on the role of conspicuous consumption. The corporation complemented the magazine with a worldwide network of Playboy Clubs, featuring attractive women serving men in a variety of amenable settings that often provided a wide range of leisure activities. The first Playboy Club opened in Chicago in early 1960, with the last of the remaining American clubs closing in Lansing, Michigan, in 1988. By the early 1970s, Hugh Hefner had moved most of Playboy's corporate activities to southern California, while production of Playboy magazine remained in Chicago.

Brady, Frank. Hefner. 1974.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment. 1983.
Weyr, Thomas. Reaching for Paradise: The Playboy Vision of America. 1978.