THE founder of top-shelf men’s magazine Penthouse has died aged 79.
Bob Guccione died in hospital in Plano, Texas, after a long battle with cancer.
Penthouse, founded in 1965, was billed as a more graphic alternative to the relatively classier Playboy.
While Playboy employed top writers and lured leading female stars to pose for pictures, Penthouse was more focused on X-rated sex.
Guccione married for the first time before the age of 20, and had his first child, Tonina.
He then moved to Rome to pursue his passion as a painter, and while there he befriended and painted with Picasso and Matisse.
He travelled widely, and became friends with William S Burroughs and other ex-patriot American writers. After marrying again he had four more children, Bob Jr, Nina, Tony, and Nick.
Former Penthouse editor John Heidenry said: “Unlike his future arch-rival Hugh Hefner, he did not suffer from sexual shyness and repression.