Hustler founder and First Modification fighter Larry Flynt dies | Oklahoma Information
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Larry Flynt, who turned his raunchy hustler magazine into an empire while fighting numerous First Amendment court battles and skinning politicians with stunts like a Donald Trump murder Christmas card, has died. He was 78 years old.
Flynt, who was in poor health, died Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, longtime attorney Paul Cambria told The Associated Press.
Flynt was shot dead in a 1978 assassination attempt and left paralyzed from the waist down but refused to slow down, resulting in an extravagant reputation and an estimated $ 100 million net worth.
He worked around in a gold-plated wheelchair with a velvet-lined seat.
“His doctors said he should have died 30 years ago,” said his nephew Jimmy Flynt Jr. on Wednesday. “He survived most of the doctors who looked after him.”
Larry Claxton Flynt Jr. was born on November 1, 1942 in Lakeville, Kentucky, and grew up poor. Flynt divorced twice at the age of 21 and eventually found his calling by buying bars and turning them into hustler clubs where topless dancers performed. To get the business going, he published a newsletter that became Hustler magazine.
Hustler was founded in 1974 and was outrageously raw, plain and tough. With the thumb according to the demands of such powerful men’s magazines as Playboy.
The magazine featured raw, politically incorrect humor, photos of female genitals, and sometimes S&M and bondage scenes with women tied and gagged. It shocked the public with a 1978 cover showing a woman being fed into a meat grinder.
So it came as no shock that Flynt faced a lot of litigation over profanity laws or that he was severely opposed by the religious right and feminist groups.
“Larry Flynt should be remembered as the scourge of society. He has been a direct contributor to and benefited from the sexual exploitation of women for most of his career, and our culture is worse for it, “Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center for Sexual Exploitation, said in a statement Wednesday.
Flynt claimed his entire life that he was not only a pornographer, but also a fierce advocate for free speech.
“My position is that you pay a price to live in a free society and that price is to condone some things you don’t like,” he once told the Seattle Times. “You have to tolerate the Larry Flynts of this world.”
The US Supreme Court agreed at least once when he won a long and fierce battle with Rev. Jerry Falwell. The televangelist sued him for defamation after a 1983 Hustler alcohol commercial indicated that Falwell had lost his virginity to his mother in an outhouse.
This case, and much of the rest of Flynt’s life, was portrayed in the 1996 film The People vs. Larry Flynt, which brought in Academy Award nominations for director Milos Forman and Woody Harrelson, who portrayed Flynt. Flynt had a cameo as a judge.
In addition to owning Hustler, Flynt owned other niche publications, a video production company, numerous websites, two casinos in the Los Angeles area, and dozen of hustler boutiques selling adult products.
At the time of his death, he said he had video-on-demand operations in more than 55 countries and more than 30 Hustler Hollywood retail stores in the United States.
His successes were offset by tragedies.
While involved in a profanity lawsuit in Georgia in 1978, Flynt was shot twice by white serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, who said he was outraged by a mixed hustler photo layout. Franklin was executed for murder despite opposition from Flynt, who opposed the death penalty.
The shooting left Flynt in relentless pain for many years and prompted him to give up his proclaimed born again Christianity and take alcohol and pain medication.
He and his fourth wife, Althea, moved to Los Angeles and spent most of their time behind the 5,000-pound steel door of their mansion. Althea, who became addicted to heroin and contracted the AIDS virus, drowned in her bathtub in 1987 at the age of 33. Her death was classified as accidental.
“Althea was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said a dreary Flynt at the time.
Flynt’s behavior during those years was wildly unpredictable. He was removed from the US Supreme Court after interrupting the trial in 1983 by berating the judges.
He later appeared in federal court in Los Angeles wearing a purple heart and a diaper made from an American flag.
A sober Flynt eventually returned to work, and the surgery eased the pain.
He spent his later years in the political arena. When California voters recalled Governor Gray Davis in 2003, Flynt was among 135 candidates to replace him. He fought as “a dirt dealer who cares” and garnered more than 15,000 votes.
Flynt was a self-described progressive liberal and not a fan of former President Donald Trump. In 2017, Flynt offered a $ 10 million reward for evidence that would lead to Trump’s impeachment, and in 2019, Larry Flynt Publications sent a Christmas card to some Republican Congressmen with Trump lying dead in a pool of blood. The killer said, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue and nobody murdered me. “It was an indication of Trump’s boast that he could do the same and not lose votes.
Over the years, he expanded his business significantly into the internet and adult film industry, noting the strides they were making in his magazine sales.
“You can see more on cable and satellite today than what I published in 1974,” Flynt told The Associated Press in 2003.
This story contains biographical information compiled by former Associated Press writer Greg Risling.