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By the 1970s, Playboy magazine had more than 7 million readers and had inspired such raunchier imitations as Penthouse and Hustler.Hefner and Playboy remained brand names worldwide.For decades he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant party with celebrities and Playboy models. By his own account, Hefner had sex with more than a thousand women, including many of those pictured in his magazine. Playboy proved a scourge, and a temptation.John Lennon spoke to Playboy in 1980, not long before he was murdered.By then Hefner had built a $200 million company by expanding Playboy to include international editions of the magazine, casinos, a cable network and a film production company.
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