Larry Flynt, Founder Of 'Hustler' Magazine, Dies At 78

Larry Flynt, Founder Of 'Hustler' Magazine, Dies At 78

For several decades, Flynt was a controversial figure in the porn industry. He launched the Hustler magazine in 1974.

Controversial publisher Larry Flynt has died at age 78. His daughter Theresa Flynt confirmed that she was with her father, along with his wife when he died on Wednesday morning. The family was at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, reports NBC News. Hustler magazine launched in 1974. The pornographic magazine initially began as a newsletter for Flynt's clubs but soon grew in popularity. While it brought him fame, it also brought many legal battles by critics who called the magazine obscene. Many of these First Amendment battles were touched upon in the Oscar-nominated 1996 film, The People vs. Larry Flynt featuring Woody Harrelson, according to TMZ.


Flynt's nephew Jimmy Flynt Jr. told CNN, "Larry was a rebel. He had a very complex personality. That's why they made a movie about it." His cause of death has not been revealed but he had been in poor health for nearly thirty years, according to his nephew. He did confirm that his death was not related to COVID-19. While Playboy started in 1953 Hustler was described as targeting a "more blue-color audience than Playboy," according to a 2013 Hollywood Reporter profile of Flynt. The magazine was a lot more graphic as well.

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt (C) poses with Hustler models (L-R) Vanessa Graw, Tanya Schafer and Nikki Gray, at the Hustler booth at the MAGIC convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center August 27, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin shot the controversial figure which paralyzed him from the waist down in an assassination attempt way back in 1978. The reason? In a 2013 interview, Franklin revealed to CNN that he was upset after seeing an interracial couple photographed in an issue of the magazine. "It just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with blacks, Indians with Indians. Orientals with orientals. I threw the magazine down and thought, I'm gonna kill that guy," Franklin said.


Flynt went on to fight for his right to express by becoming an outspoken supporter of First Amendment rights. He won his most significant legal battle at the US Supreme Court in 1988 after televangelist the Rev. Jerry Falwell brought a libel case. "I even took a bullet for the First Amendment," Flynt said to CNN in 2003. He also deemed himself as a civil libertarian. In 2012, Flynt wrote for CNN Opinion, "The best thing the arbiters of decency and good taste can do is to stay out of other people's lives. The greatest right that any nation can afford its people is the right to be left alone." His nephew admitted that life was difficult after being shot, but despite that there was a tremendous success, "He wanted to be remembered as a person who pushed the boundaries of free speech and that the First Amendment was the cornerstone of democracy," Flynt Jr. said. TMZ notes that Flynt was married 5 times. His fifth and last wife was Elizabeth Berrios, whom he married in 1998. Flynt has 5 daughters and a son, along with multiple grandchildren and great-grandkids.


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