Begun in 1953 as the HMH Publishing Company by Hugh Marston Hefner in order to produce Playboy Magazine, the company grew quickly, expanding into a variety of adult entertainment related venues. In 1971 Playboy Enterprises went public, and in 1972 sales of Playboy Magazine reached a pinnacle at more than 7 million copies sold. Soon Playboy added nightclubs, a cable television channel and records to its empire.
Playboy revolutionized adult entertainment by removing it from the stigma of pornography and indulging in the fantasies of middle class executive men. The magazine included interviews with respected, high-profile personalities, and editorial pieces from respected literary figures. In this way Playboy brought public respect to an otherwise not-respected industry.
Today only one third of Playboy’s revenues come from magazine sales, while its programming and content are available internationally on television, the internet, radio and mobile devices. Playboy Enterprises and its subsidiaries develop and distribute adult entertainment worldwide and is one of the most recognized brands in the world.