The world of porn is packed to the brim with people. However, it is very rare that these names ever manage to escape that world. Larry Flynt is one of these rare cases. His name is known globally, and he is probably the guy that managed to make porn a little bit more mainstream than it was. While he has recently died, this is a name that is going to be spoken about for a long time to come.
So, who is Larry? Why is he so important to the world of porn? How did the Hustler magazine become such a prominent magazine? Well, we are going to tell you absolutely everything that you need to know about this in our little tribute to porn legend Larry Flynt.
WHO IS LARRY FLYNT?
If you haven’t heard of Larry Flynt, then you will almost certainly have heard of the business that he helmed, Hustler Magazine. This was one of the original porn magazines, and perhaps the most hardcore of all mainstream porn magazines that are still for sale. However, the story of Larry Flynt doesn’t begin with Hustler. It begins a long time before that.
In his early life, Larry Flint was in both the Army and the Navy. For the former, he managed to sign up ‘underaged’ and was discharged. In the Navy, he lasted for four years where, once again, he was discharged.
His career in porn began with his mother, although neither she nor Larry would have known it. At the time, Larry’s mother owned a bar called the Keewee bar. His mother was struggling with it, so Larry offered to buy it from her. It wasn’t long before the bar was doing a huge amount of profit, and he went on to purchase two further bars. This is when the first remnants of the Hustler Magazine came into fruition.
Larry decided to turn one of his bars into a strip club. It was called the Hustlers Club.
Alongside the Hustlers Club, Larry decided to produce a magazine for his businesses known as ‘Hustlers’.
Originally, this magazine was designed to be nothing more than a way to promote his business. However, as we all know, this magazine ended up taking on a life of its own. That would still be a way off, though. For now, all the guy wanted to do was create a magazine that would drive people towards his business, and this magazine did a good job of that.
After five years of running his clubs, the United States entered a recession. As you can probably guess, recessions are never brilliant for the entertainment industry. His clubs started to see a downtown in their fortunes. Luckily, Larry had somewhat of an entrepreneurial mind. His Hustler magazine was doing well at this point, so he decided that he wanted to expand the magazine and send it nationwide. He did just that. It wasn’t that popular at first, but it wasn’t too long before the Hustler Magazine started to catch on. It wasn’t easy for him, though. Most publishers didn’t want to work with him due to the content of his shots. They were quite hardcore, and something that hadn’t really been seen in mainstream magazines up until this point. It wasn’t long before Larry Flynt was a porn millionaire.
The issue that really put Hustler on the map was when the magazine published nude photographs of ex-first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. No other magazine had attempted this sort of thing before, certainly not a porn magazine. People snapped up this issue like crazy. Larry Flynt paid around $18,000 for these nude photographs, but the issue sold well over 1-million copies. Hustler was well and truly loved as a porn magazine but, perhaps more importantly, it was a porn magazine that had managed to crack the mainstream despite having a major focus on hardcore photographs. His fortunes then had a bit of a downturn.
If you have ever seen Larry, then you will know that he was in a wheelchair. It wasn’t always like this for him, though. His fortunes changed on March 6th 1978 when an assassination attempt left him paralyzed from the waist down. Nobody was ever charged with this crime, although it is commonly believed that Joseph Paul Franklin, somebody that was eventually executed for a murder elsewhere, was the one responsible. Joseph Paul Franklin was a white supremacist, and he wasn’t a fan of the interracial content that Larry Flynt was publishing.
While some people would have become a recluse after an assassination attempt, Larry quickly became more prominent in the world of porn. He really showed off the extravagant lifestyle that he had too. For example, it wasn’t uncommon to see him at events sitting in a gold-plated wheelchair.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface of everything that has happened to Larry over the course of his life. He has had several court cases brought against him for obscenity, he has been jailed for wearing the United States flag in an inappropriate manner (he wore it as if he were wearing ad diaper), and he has opened up his own casino. This guy may be one of the biggest names ever in the world of porn, probably only beaten out by Hugh Heffner, but he certainly was no stranger to being controversial which, most of the time, was likely just being used as PR for his magazine.
LARRY FLYNT NET WORTH
It is estimated that Larry Flint was worth $500-million at the time of his death, which certainly isn’t too shabby since he started his career in porn with no more than $1,000 to his name.
The bulk of Larry Flint’s wealth, of course, came from running Hustler Magazine. However, in recent years, he had started to expand his business. He was licensing the name of Hustler to countless companies. This included to himself when he started up the Hustler casino. You can also find the name attached to various porn productions and even online TV channels. The money was absolutely flowing in.
Due to the way in which he refused to put all of his eggs in one basket, only 10% of Larry’s yearly income came from Hustler magazine. The rest of it came from a pretty diverse portfolio. This included property ownership. The reason why Larry had such a diverse portfolio is because he believed that Hustler magazine would die sooner as opposed to later. He felt that his magazine couldn’t compete with online porn and, to be fair, it couldn’t. The circulation of Hustler magazine has been dropping each year, and while Hustler made attempts to crack into the world of online porn, it never really saw that much in the way of success.
LARRY FLYNT HUSTLER CLUB
We left out a key part of the Larry Flint story before. One that is probably on the forefront of many people’s minds. What happened to the Hustler Clubs?
Well, when the magazine started to become successful, with each issue generating more cash than all of his bars put together, he decided to shut down the Hustler Clubs and focus full time on the magazine business. The magazine business, at the time, was far less risky than running strip clubs, particularly since the United States was in a recession at the time.
This is something only last thirty years. Up until 2002, in fact. This is when Larry decided that he wanted the Hustler Club to make a return. He wasn’t going to be putting his money on the line here, though. Instead, he would be licensing the name out to a company known as Deja Vu. This was a company that the Hustler magazine had worked closely with over the years.
The number of Hustler Clubs in the is steadily growing. At the last count, there are Hustler Clubs in four different countries. All of these are run by Deja Vu. Of course, these clubs also retain that high-class feel that Larry always wanted from his clubs.
More Hustler Clubs are planned to be opened in the future, with the last one opening at the tail end of 2020.
DIES AT 78
This finally leads us to the end of our story. On February 10th, 2021, Larry Flynt died aged 78.
He died peacefully at home from heart failure. It is fair to say that with all he went through in his life, he managed to last an incredibly long time. This was a guy that had an assassination attempt made against him, spent almost 50-years in a wheelchair, been to prison, and created one of the most successful porn magazines in history. This is a guy that is going to go down as an absolute porn legend.
While Larry Flynt has now left us, his is a legacy that is going to live on in every porn website we visit and every porn magazine that we read. This guy would have inspired them at some point down the line. For that, we can only say thank you.