[Note: I updated this post to properly attribute the authorship of Playboy’s Book of Backgammon, which was written by Lewis Deyong, not Hugh Hefner. Thank you to the many readers who found the error. -Larry Shiller]
Hugh Hefner passed away today at age 91.
Whatever your view of Hugh Hefner, he arguably promoted backgammon better than anyone in history. He wrote the introduction to Lewis Deyong’s Playboy’s Book of Backgammon, held innumerable backgammon parties at the Playboy Mansion in the 1960s and 1970s, and played with major celebrities of the day including Omar Sharif and Lucille Ball.
Candace Mayeron, who runs the California State Championship, said, “Hef was almost single-handedly responsible for the popularity and tremendous growth of backgammon during its heyday in the 70s. What celebrities do, Americans mimic. We’ll miss him. ”
Hefner’s last known photo, taken August 6, 2017, shows him playing backgammon with family. See son Marston Hefner’s tweet and pic here: http://bit.ly/2k6e4vb
Which celeb do you think will take the backgammon baton from Hef? Let us know in the comments below.
[Correction note: Hugh Hefner wrote the introduction for but did not write Playboy’s Book of Backgammon. The author was Lewis Deyong.]