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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – The founder of Playboy has died.

The magazine confirmed Hugh Hefner died Wednesday of natural causes.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises,” said Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.

Gallery: 2017 Celebrity Deaths

Hefner became American icon after introducing the world to Playboy in 1952.

He built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history.

Hefner was also the star of the hit reality show “The Girls Next Door.”

He peacefully passed away at the Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones, the company said in a news release. He was 91.

Stay with CBSMiami.com for updates on this developing story.

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