Rosa Parks, Seated in History J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register

Century Marks

Looking for love: The producers of MSNBC’s Headliners and Legends with Matt Lauer were initially unenthusiastic about their assignment to interview Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine. They decided to attempt a different sort of interview—explore Hefner’s background to see why he became the person he did. Hefner talked about his legalistic and loveless parents, and said his mother never hugged or kissed him for fear of germs. He sought solace in a blanket framed by bunny rabbits—a blanket his mother burned after his puppy died while lying on it. Hefner called that experience his greatest childhood loss. He concluded that he’s still a little boy in search of love. Afterward, Hefner’s public relations person said: “This wasn’t an interview; it was a therapy session” (Behind the Screen, edited by Spencer Lewerenz and Barbara Nicolosi, forthcoming from Baker Books).


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