Hugh Hefner may have launched Playboy magazine, but Victor Lownes came up with one of the keys to its success.
Lownes, who joined Playboy in 1955 as marketing director when the Chicago-based publication was struggling to make a success out of its racy photographs of beautiful women, helped groom the magazine for wider acceptance.
Among his contributions was the long-running campaign "What Sort of Man Reads Playboy?" At its peak in the early 1970s, the answer became just about every man.
But it was his idea to create the Playboy Club that launched a money-making empire.
Lownes, 88, who not only shaped the Playboy image but lived it himself, died in a...