Bob Guccione

In the world of men’s magazines, Hugh Hefner was king of the hill for years, as publisher of Playboy magazine.

But in 1965, a then-35-year-old laundromat manager, painter, and photographer named Bob Guccione launched a magazine to challenge the Playboy empire.

He called it Penthouse. And by the early 1980s Penthouse had made Guccione one of America’s richest businessmen.

But Penthouse, Playboy, and Larry Flynt’s Hustler had also by then become the targets of conservative and religious groups, eager to see the magazines banished.

I met Bob Guccione in 1986, at the height of his battles with people like Attorney General Ed Meese, and Rev. Donald Wildmon and Rev, Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority.”

So here now, from 1986, Bob Guccione.

Bob Guccione died in 2010. He was 79,