Hugh Hefner Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

Bob Johnson

LOS ANGELES — Playboy founder Hugh Hefner received a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Press Club yesterday.

Hefner was honored for his illustrious publishing career at the gala fourth annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

Press Club President Will Lewis lauded Playboy’s editor-in-chief and said, "Hefner's footprint on American popular culture is huge. For almost 60 years, Playboy has been on the leading edge in shaping positive attitudes on civil rights, gay rights, as well as human sexuality."

On hand to celebrate the occasion with Hefner were his son Cooper, new squeeze Anna Sophia Berglund, and long-time friend, comedian and activist Dick Gregory, who gave a speech in his honor.

Hefner tweeted, "The LA Press Club's Lifetime Achievement dinner proved to be a really special, quite emotional evening for me. The Lifetime Achievement Award had even more meaning because family and friends were there to share the night.

"Dick Gregory's personal tribute was the real highlight of the evening for me. He flew across the country to be here."

Hefner’s friendship with Gregory began when the publisher defied social standards by booking a Black comedian at the Chicago Playboy Club in 1961.