Larry Flynt, the controversial founder of Hustler magazine and owner of one of the biggest adult entertainment empires in the world has died at age 78. It has been reported that Flynt died of heart failure in LA on Feb. 10, 2021.
With a career clouded by controversy and an attempt on his life that left him paralyzed, Flynt’s legacy is very sordid.
Larry Flynt published a nude photo of former first lady Jackie Kennedy in ‘Hustler’
Flynt opened his Hustler Clubs across Ohio in the late 1960s getting the idea to create a Hustler Newsletter about them in the early 1970s. His first newsletter was a two-page, black-and-white publication published in January 1972.
It became so popular that by August 1973 the newsletter was 32-pages long. The first official copy of Hustler magazine was published in July 1974 and featured photos of open vulvas. It was the first magazine to showcase this part of a woman’s body in this way.
From there, Flynt went even further paying a paparazzo $18,000 for photos of former first lady Jackie Kennedy sunbathing in the nude in 1971 and publishing them in his August 1975 edition of Hustler. Over one million copies of the issue were sold in just a few days.
Larry Flynt was shot in 1978
It’s no secret that Flynt made many enemies in the 1970s as he was building his Hustler empire. He was prosecuted on obscenity and organized crime charges throughout his career, put under FBI surveillance, and sued multiple times.
Since he was in the media so much, he gained the attention of white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin, who was convicted of murdering at least eight people. On March 6, 1978, Franklin shot Flynt in front of a courthouse, leaving the Hustler founder partially paralyzed with permanent spinal cord damage and in need of a wheelchair. Franklin did not confess to the attempted murder for many years.
“I saw that interracial couple he had, photographed there, having sex,” Franklin told CNN prior to his execution. “It just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with Blacks, Indians with Indians. [Asians] with [Asians]. I threw the magazine down and thought, I’m gonna kill that guy.”
Larry Flynt’s net worth was $500 million when he died
Despite his various legal battles over obscenity and his first amendment rights, Flynt made a killing off of Hustler magazine and his various other business ventures. In addition to the magazine, Flynt built a smut empire that including strip clubs, his privately held company Larry Flynt Publications, his Hustler Video film studio, and a Hustler casino.
Flynt published his autobiography An Unseemly Man: My Life as a Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast in 1996. That same year The People vs. Larry Flynt premiered starring actor Woody Harrelson as Flynt.
According to Celebrity Net Worth Flynt was worth $500 million. Until his death in 2021, he was the publisher and president of Larry Flynt Publications. It served as the parent company of Hustler magazine. As a result, he remained one of the most powerful people in the adult entertainment industry until the end.