Hustler magazine founder was 78 – Deadline

Hustler founder Larry Flynt has died at 78. The Washington Post confirmed the news with his brother Jimmy. No cause of death was given.

Flynt made his fortune with Hustler magazine and associated companies, but he made a name for himself defying cultural norms. Wounded by an assailant’s bullet in 1978, he also became known for his gold wheelchairs.

In 1988, Flynt won a landmark United States Supreme Court case, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, after being sued by the Reverend Jerry Falwell for a spoof that appeared in Hustler. In a unanimous decision, the High Court said public figures cannot recover damages for “inflicting emotional distress” on the basis of parodies. The landmark First Amendment ruling ruled that the interest in protecting free speech exceeds the interest in protecting the emotions and reputation of public figures.

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In 1996, Columbia Pictures released The people against Larry Flynt with Woody Harrelson in the title role. Harrelson’s performance earned him an Oscar nomination. Director Milos Forman also received a nod from the Academy.

As president of the Hustler property brand, Flynt built an empire known as the LFP Publishing Group, including Hustler magazine; LFP broadcast, with Hustler TV services available on VOD channels and platforms in more than 55 countries.

Flynt was born in Lakeville, Magoffin County, Kentucky on November 1, 1942. From 1960-64 he served in the US Navy and was a radar operator on the USS Enterprise when the aircraft carrier retrieved the space capsule from astronaut John Glenn.

In March 1972, Flynt created the Hustler Newsletter, a four-page black and white publication with news from his clubs. It became so popular that he quickly expanded it to 32 pages and then decided to turn it into a nationwide magazine. In July 1974, the first issue of Hustler was published. In 1976, Flynt created Larry Flynt Publications.

On March 6, 1978, during a trial related to an obscenity charge in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Flynt and his lawyer were shot dead by a sniper near the Lawrenceville County Courthouse. The shooting left Flynt partially paralyzed. He then suffered a stroke after becoming addicted to pain relievers.

He was a candidate in the race to replace the recalled California governor Gray Davis in 1993, but lost.

According to his official website, Flynt has been married five times and has five children. He and his current wife, Elizabeth, lived in the Hollywood Hills.

TMZ first reported the news.

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