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You will find thousands of Playboy Back Issues available for purchase at competitive prices. We ship our Playboy same day or next business day. Our PB Back Issues inventory follows this synopsis.

Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with a presence in nearly every medium. Playboy is one of the world's best known brands.

The magazine has a long history of publishing short stories by notable novelists such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabokov, P. G. Wodehouse, and Margaret Atwood. Playboy features monthly interviews of notable public figures, such as artists, architects, economists, composers, conductors, film directors, journalists, novelists, playwrights, religious figures, politicians, athletes and race car drivers. The magazine generally reflects a liberal editorial stance.

Playboy's original title was to be Stag Party, but an unrelated outdoor magazine, Stag, contacted Hefner and informed him that they would protect their trademark if he were to launch his magazine with that name. Hefner and co-founder and executive vice-president Eldon Sellers met to seek a new name. Sellers, whose mother had worked for the Chicago sales office of the short-lived Playboy Automobile Company, suggested "Playboy."

The first issue, in December 1953, was undated, as Hefner was unsure there would be a second. He produced it in his Hyde Park kitchen. The first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe, although the picture used originally was taken for a calendar rather than for Playboy. The first issue sold out in weeks. Known circulation was 53,991. The novel Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, was also serialized in the March, April, and May 1954 issues of Playboy magazine.

The Playboy logo, the stylized profile of a rabbit wearing a tuxedo bow tie, was originally designed by art designer Art Paul for the second issue to be used as an end note, but was adopted as the official logo, and has appeared ever since. A running joke in the magazine involves hiding the logo somewhere in the cover art or photograph. Hefner said he chose the rabbit for its "humorous sexual connotation," and because the image was "frisky and playful."

An urban legend started about Hefner and the Playmate of the Month because of markings on the front covers of the magazine. From 1955 to 1979 (except for a six month gap in 1976), the "P" in Playboy had stars printed in or around the letter. The legend stated that this was either a rating that Hefner gave to the Playmate according to how attractive she was, the number of times that Hefner had slept with her, or how good she was in bed. The stars, between zero and twelve, actually indicated the domestic or international advertising region for that printing.

From 1966 to 1976 Robie Macauley was the Fiction Editor at Playboy. During this period the magazine published fiction by Saul Bellow, Sean O'Faolain, John Updike, James Dickey, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, Michael Crichton, John LeCarre, Irwin Shaw, Arthur Koestler, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, John Irving, Anne Sexton, Nadine Gordimer, Kurt Vonnegut and J. P. Donleavy, as well as poetry by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Macauley also contributed all of the popular Ribald Classics series published between January 1978 and March 1984.

Christie Hefner, daughter of the founder Hugh Hefner, joined Playboy in 1975 and became head of the company in 1988. She announced in December 2008 that she would be stepping down from leading the company, effective in January 2009, and said that the election of Barack Obama as the next President had inspired her to give more time to charitable work, and that the decision to step down was her own. “Just as this country is embracing change in the form of new leadership, I have decided that now is the time to make changes in my own life as well,” she said.

Hugh Hefner and a group of private investors bought the magazine back in early 2011, going full circle back to total control.

The magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary with the January 2004 issue. Celebrations were held at Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Moscow during the year to commemorate this event.

The magazine runs several annual features and ratings. One of the most popular is its annual ranking of the top "party schools" among all U.S. universities and colleges. For 2009, the magazine used five considerations: bikini, brains, campus, sex and sports in the development of its list.

Besides its centerfold, a major part of Playboy for much of its existence has been the Playboy Interview, an extensive (usually several thousand-word) discussion between a notable individual and an interviewer (historian Alex Haley, for example, served as a Playboy interviewer on a few occasions; one of his interviews was with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; he also interviewed Malcolm X, then coauthored his autobiography). One of the magazine's most notable interviews was a discussion with then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter in the November 1976 issue in which he stated "I've committed adultery in my heart many times." David Sheff's interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared in the January 1981 issue, which was on newsstands at the time of Lennon's murder; the interview was later published in book format.

Another interview type section, entitled "20Q" (a play on the game of Twenty Questions), was added in October 1978. Cheryl Tiegs was the first interviewee for the section.

The best-selling Playboy edition was the November 1972 edition, which sold 7,161,561 copies. At that time, one-quarter of all American college men were buying the magazine every month. On the cover was model Pam Rawlings, photographed by Rowland Scherman.

Perhaps coincidentally, a cropped image of the issue's centerfold (which featured Lena Soderberg) became a de facto standard image for testing image processing algorithms. It is known simply as the "Lenna" (also "Lena") image in that field.

In 1970, Playboy became the first gentleman's magazine to be printed in braille.

Millions of women dream of being a playmate or centerfold in Playboy and millions of men want to date a playmate or centerfold. The term Playboy Model indicates great beauty as well as being a sex symbol. As more famous women like Kim Kardashian, Farrah Fawcett, Nancy Sinatra and others take off thier clothes for Playboy, the magazine expands its influence. Stated simply, Playboy Magazine is an icon.

Many notable photographers have contributed to Playboy, including Ken Marcus, Richard Fegley, Arny Freytag, Ron Harris, Tom Kelley, David Mecey, Russ Meyer, Pompeo Posar, Suze Randall, Herb Ritts, Stephen Wayda, Sam Wu, Mario Casilli, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, and Bunny Yeager.

A partial list of famous women that have been in Playboy . . .

  • Marilyn Monroe (December 1953) (Never actually posed for Playboy itself)
  • Jayne Mansfield (February 1955)
  • Mara Corday (October 1958)
  • Ursula Andress (June 1965)
  • Carol Lynley (March 1965)
  • Kim Basinger (February 1983)
  • Janet Jones (March 1987)
  • Drew Barrymore (January 1995)
  • Daryl Hannah (November 2003)
  • Denise Richards (December 2004)
  • LaToya Jackson (March 1989/Nov 1991)
  • Fem2fem (December 1993)
  • Nancy Sinatra (May 1995)
  • Samantha Fox (October 1996)
  • Linda Brava (April 1998)
  • Belinda Carlisle (August 2001)
  • Tiffany (April 2002)
  • Carnie Wilson (August 2003)
  • Deborah Gibson (March 2005)
  • Willa Ford (March 2006)
  • Svetlana Khorkina (November 1997 Russian edition)
  • Katarina Witt (December 1998)
  • Tanja Szewczenko (April 1999 German Edition)
  • Joanie Laurer (November 2000 and January 2002)
  • Gabrielle Reece (January 2001)
  • Kiana Tom (May 2002)
  • Torrie Wilson (May 2003 and March 2004 [the latter with Sable])
  • Amy Acuff (September 2004)
  • Amanda Beard (July 2007)
  • Ashley Harkleroad (August 2008)
  • Linda Evans (July 1971)
  • Suzanne Somers (February 1980 and December 1984)
  • Dana Plato (June 1989)
  • Shannen Doherty (March 1994 and December 2003)
  • Farrah Fawcett (December 1995 and July 1997)
  • Women of Baywatch (June 1998)
  • Claudia Christian (October 1999)
  • Shari Belafonte (September 2000)
  • Brooke Burke (May 2001 and November 2004)
  • Susie Feldman (August 2008)
  • (parts of this description are excerpted, with permission, from


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