Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse, built a magazine empire only to see it crumble as the internet delivered cheaper ways to see nude women. He died yesterday at age 79 of lung cancer, his family said. Guccione had sold Penthouse a few years ago, two decades after he was named to Forbes’ 400 list with a net worth of $400 million.
But Guccione was much more than the publisher of Penthouse. He was a father of four, a husband four times over, and a man with a surprisingly broad background in arts and sciences, considering what he’s best known for.
Here are five things you may not have known about Guccione:
1. He attended Catholic seminary before launching Penthouse.
2. He was an artist. In fact, he started Penthouse in part as an outlet for his photography.
3. In addition to Penthouse, he published the scientific magazine Omni, which also featured some science fiction.
4. He was heartbroken over the death of his third wife, Kathy Keeton. Even after her death 13 years ago, he insisted her name remain on the masthead at Penthouse as president.
5. He was a ruthless businessman. He launched Spin with his son, Bob Guccione Jr., in 1985, but decided to pull the title’s funding two years later. That sent Guccione Jr. scrambling for a backer and led to a rift between the two.