Larry Flynt, the man behind “Hustler,” one of the most successful pornographic enterprises in history, has passed at the age of 78.
According to TMZ, Flynt died on Wednesday, February 10. The report further says that Flynt’s death was due to heart failure and the “Hustler” patriarch died in Los Angeles.
After starting “Hustler” magazine in 1974, Flynt’s endeavors in porn expanded upward and outward, finding success in home video, television and eventually the internet.
Flynt is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Berrios as well as four children.
Early Life of Larry Flynt
Flynt hailed from Lakeville, Kentucky. The future mogul was initially raised in an impoverished household. The effects of the Great Depression ravaged the United States and his home state of Kentucky.
At the age of 15, Flynt forged a birth certificate to join the U.S. Army. An honorable discharge later, Flynt attempted to labor in a way to make a living. But he was eventually laid off from the General Motors-affiliated company he landed at after army service.
Soon after, Flynt joined the U.S. Navy. He spent four years as a radar operator before another honorable discharge.
Afterwards, he bought his mother’s bar in Dayton, Ohio. This led to immediate success, and Flynt continued his enterprise by opening more bars. This eventually led to his springboard success: the Hustler Club.
The original Hustler Club was one of the first bars in the Ohio area to offer nude dancers, and became a smash hit.
Hustler Takes Flight
After years of huge profits with Hustler Club locations, he began a newsletter. The goal was to show off his work and detailing new developments in the chain of bars.
Due to the 1973 financial recession, this prompted Flynt to take his career a step further. This meant an outright “Hustler” magazine. The first issue was published in 1974 to much backlash, but his success carried on.
While Flynt battled claims of obscenity, he also dealt with a myriad of other issues. Most notably, this includes being shot in 1978 by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. Franklin, a vocal white supremacist, said that an interracial shoot was the reason behind his actions.
The shooting left Flynt partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair the rest of his life.