‘Hustler’ founder Larry Flynt dies at 78

‘Hustler’ founder Larry Flynt dies at 78
FILE - In this April 30, 2011 file photo, Larry Flynt speaks in Los Angeles, Calif. (Source: AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)

CINCINNATI (FOX19/AP) - Larry Flynt, who turned Hustler magazine into an adult entertainment empire while championing First Amendment rights, has died at age 78.

His nephew, Jimmy Flynt Jr., told The Associated Press that Flynt died Wednesday of heart failure at his Hollywood Hills home in Los Angeles.

Jimmy Flynt said his uncle had been in frail health and died of heart failure.

Larry Flynt was born in Lakeville, Kentucky in 1942.

He bought his first bar in Dayton, Ohio, in 1965, and then in 1968, Flynt opened the Hustler Club which featured nude, hostess dancers, according to larryflynt.com.

He then opened clubs in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and in other parts of the state.

Ultimately, Flynt created a newsletter about his clubs in 1972 that eventually led to the publication of “Hustler” magazine in 1974.

In 1977, he was prosecuted on obscenity charges in Cincinnati by Si Leis who would eventually become Hamilton County Sheriff.

Flynt was convicted and was sentenced to 7 to 25 years but appealed and got his sentence overturned.

He was fighting another charge in Georgia in 1978 when he was shot for allegedly publishing explicit pictures of a mixed-race couple, according to The First Amendment Encyclopedia. The shooting left Flynt partially paralyzed.

Flynt was also known for a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1983, he published a fake advertisement in “Hustler” that claimed televangelist Jerry Falwell lost his virginity to his mother in an outhouse.

Falwell sued for invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to a report from NPR.

The justices ruled unanimously that the ad was protected by the First Amendment,

Flynt spoke to FOX19′s Tricia Macke in 2011. That interview is below:

2011: Tricia Macke sits down for Another Side of Larry Flynt

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Copyright 2021 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.