Playboy #1

In November of 1955, collector John Basil aimed for the top and wrote to Playboy‘s founder, Hugh Hefner, and offered him $5.00 in a bid to get his hands on the only issue he didn’t own: Playboy #1; originally published December, 1953, and starring Marilyn Monroe as centrefold. Below is the kind reply he received a few weeks later, from Hefner himself, along with a copy of that very issue.

Personally, a sheet of that stunning letterhead would have sufficed.

Transcript follows.

Recommended reading: The Playboy Book: Fifty Years.



11 east superior · chicago 11, illinois · michigan 2-4511

November 21, 1955

Mr. J. B. Basil
3414 East Bellevue
Tuscon, Arizona

Dear Mr. Basil:

Anyone who would pay $5.00 for the first issue of PLAYBOY thinks a good deal of the magazine and deserves to have that issue. I’ve dug this copy out of our editorial file, especially for you. Consider it a gift. Make your payment by continuing to boost PLAYBOY with your friends and giving lots of PLAYBOY gift subscriptions this Christmas.


(Signed, ‘Hugh M Hefner’)

Hugh M. Hefner
Editor – Publisher