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April 25, 2012  | by: Christopher Burns

Chicago Tribune photo by John Austad

For the first time in over 50 years, Playboy Enterprises will no longer occupy an office in the Windy City.

Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy Magazine and Chief Operating Officer of Playboy Enterprises announced the change with a bittersweet sentiment.  He noted that the city of Chicago had affected his magazine empire in ways he could never have realized at the time thanks to its identity as the perfect example of ‘true, post war, America.” His publishing company has made the executive decision to transfer all publishing operations usually practiced in Chicago to their office in Los Angeles.

In a letter written to the Chicago Tribune, Heffner thanked the city of Chicago for its great support of the controversial men’s magazine over the past half century. In his classic, gentlemanly written voice he noted that he and Chicago had “… took those ideals of sexual liberation from Loop newsstands to the farthest edges of the planet. Playboy could not have happened anywhere else but Chicago.”

Photo by

The move comes at a time where print magazines are struggling to stay afloat. Like Heffner’s Playboy, many print news sources are becoming increasingly consolidated (Playboy is downsizing to one office in Los Angeles), are being forced to cut staffers, and are becoming increasingly reliant on blog style news stories found on internet sites.

Heffner printed the first Playboy magazine in Chicago in 1953, featuring risqué photographs of Marilyn Monroe which were taken in 1949. By mortgaging his furniture and collecting $8,000 dollars from 45 investors he put out the first copy of the magazine which turned out to be a relative smash hit, selling about 50,000 copies.  Since that time, Heffner’s corporation has become a huge entertainment venture, supporting television, film, print media, and other outlets.

In recent years, Heffner’s notorious party lifestyle has been toned down, and the Playboy mansion has become a family friendly environment, but his insatiable lust for women has never been toned down. As recently as the middle 2000’s, he was reported to be living with up to seven girlfriends at a time.

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