Hugh Hefner has always been more than willing to give the world a glimpse into his very personal -- and very polyamorous -- lifestyle. So it's no surprise that the velvet-adoring gentleman has opted to create an expansive, illustrated autobiography featuring not one, but six volumes of vintage photos and artwork that tell the story of Playboy's first 25 years.
Barbi Benton and Hefner, Miami 1970
"Hugh Hefner's Playboy" was recently released by Taschen, highlighting the golden years of his magazine empire. (You know, if you are of such a mind to think they ever existed at all.) The book celebrates Playboy's 60th anniversary by pulling together childhood artworks, decades-old letters, and autobiographical excerpts about Hefner's time as a cartoonist, military man and youth about town. High-brow Playboy readers can even catch original texts written by literary greats such as Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Ian Fleming and Ray Bradbury.
The massive tribute to Playboy throughout the 1950s, '60s and '70s also includes some rarely before seen images of Hefner's early life, as well as some snapshots of the iconic centerfold models. The retro relics harken back to a time when Playmates wore, well, clothes and represented an important, if not kitschy, part of America's sexual revolution.
Scroll through the photos below for a peek at "Hugh Hefner's Playboy" and let us know your thoughts on the work in the comments.
Hefner and Benton at Playboy Mansion West, 1970
Hefner working in Chicago as John Dean testifies at Watergate hearings, 1973
Barbi Benton and Hefner, with Jet Bunnies, Los Angeles 1970
Hefner and Playboy Bunnies, Chicago Club, 1960
Hefner's comic-book autobiography, at the University of Illinois, 1947
All photos courtesy of Taschen.