Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione died yesterday at the age of 79. The AP reported that the adult entertainment magnate passed away at a hospital in Plano, Texas after a long bout with cancer.
Guccione was a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn in 1930. He created Penthouse in the mid-’60s, however the magazine first gained international notoriety before it was welcomed to the states. According to Biography.com, Penthouse debuted in 1965 in the U.K. prior to its introduction to U.S. readers in 1969. Penthouse would grow to rival Playboy by printing more suggestive and racier material than Hugh Hefner‘s title.
Forbes.com states that Guccione’s Penthouse empire earned nearly $4 billion over his 30 year tenure. He was featured on the first-ever Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans with an estimated net worth of $400 million in 1982.
Some of Penthouse‘s memorable exploits under Guccione’s reign include printing nude pictures of the first ever black Miss America, Vanessa Williams, and an interview and nude photo layout of Paula Jones.