Hustler publisher Larry Flynt dies at 78
Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt Jr., the self-described "smut peddler who cares", who used his pornography empire and flair for the outrageous to push the limits of free speech, has died at the age of 78, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Gloria Tso reports.
Larry Flynt, who founded the popular porn magazine Hustler, has died at the age of 78, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Flynt's brother Jimmy confirmed the news but did not cite a specific cause of death.
Flynt was a controversial media mogul who created a business with an estimated turnover of $150 million at its height.
Hustler magazinestarted as a newsletter promoting Flynt's strip clubs in the American Midwest.
Later, at its peak, Hustler circulated to some 3 million people.
It became infamous for publishing explicit photos that made its competitor Playboy seem mild.
As the magazine slipped, Flynt stayed ahead of trends by investing in adult-oriented television channels, a casino, film distribution and merchandise.
He was also a self-styled champion of the First Amendment who frequently fought obscenity charges and other legal battles.
He survived an assassination attempt in 1978, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, restricted to a $17,000 gold-plated wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Flynt often turned courtroom appearances into spectacles, his obscene outbursts once prompted his own lawyer to ask a judge to have him bound and gagged.
In perhaps his most famous case, the U.S. Supreme Court made an important First Amendment ruling in favor of Flynt in a libel battle with evangelist Jerry Falwell.
Flynt also ran for president against Ronald Reagan in 1983 and in 2003, campaigned to be governor of California.
His life was the basis of the 1996 movie "The People vs.
Larry Flynt," which starred Woody Harrelson and was based in part on Flynt's Supreme Court case.