Larry Flynt, founder and publisher of Hustler magazine, died on Wednesday at the age of 78.

He died Wednesday morning at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. His cause of death has not been been revealed.

Flynt launched Hustler in the 1970s as an extension of his adult clubs featuring nude women in the magazines. He received backlash from feminists and anti-porn activists over the years, as well as many lawsuits over the magazine’s content.

Born in 1942, Flynt dropped out of school at 15-years-old to join the Army using a false birth certificate. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1964.

He brought his mother’s bar in Dayton, Ohio in 1964 before buying more bars in seven other cities that featured strip dancing. The first graphic issue of Hustler dropped in July 1974.

Playboy and Penthouse were parading their pornography as art, with the airbrushing and the soft lens. I realized that if we became more explicit, we could get a huge piece of this market,” Flynt said. “I sensed that raw sex was what men wanted. And I was right.”

The magazine’s content led to Flynt being sentences seven to 25 years in prison on charges of obscenity and organized-crime charges in Cincinnati in 1976. He won a dismissal on appeal. His life was dramatized in the film The People V. Larry Flynt. 

Flynt was sentenced to 60 days in prison in 1985 for using obscene language before the U.S. Supreme Court and for a separate incident of wearing an unauthorized Purple Heart Medal.

In 1983, Flynt launched a bid for the presidency. He ran on a platform of fighting sexual repression.

“I want to keep Big Brother out of your bedroom… if the government can control the single strongest drive you have, they can control anything and that’s the road the fascism,” Flynt said at the time.

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