Working as a copywriter for Esquire, he left in January 1952 after being denied a $5 raise. In 1953, he lent his furniture for $600 and raised $8,000 from 45 investors – including $1,000 from his mother, “Not because she believed in the venture,” he told E! in 2006. “But because she believed in her son” – to launch Playboy, which was initially going to be called Stag Party. The undated first issue, published in December 1953, featured Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot.
The rest is history.