Bob Guccione, who founded Penthouse magazine, died on Wednesday in Texas at the age of 79.
Where Hefner's Playboy magazine strove to surround its pinups with an upscale image, Guccione aimed for something a little more direct with Penthouse. More explicit nudes. Sensational stories. Even more sensational letters that began, “Dear Penthouse, I never thought I'd be writing you...”
It worked for decades for Guccione. He estimated that Penthouse earned $4 billion during his reign as publisher. He was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people with a net worth of about $400 million in 1982.