It’s extremely bizarre to begin an obituary with a sexual content disclaimer. Larry Flynt, however, would have approved. 

On February 21, 2021, we said an ethically confused goodbye to the ‘Hustler’ magazine founder, who passed away at the age of 78. For supporters of free speech, Flynt is the “Martin Luther King of pornography”, while for others, he is a smut-peddling scumbag. 

Well, whether folks admire him or detest him, it is just proof of the mark he left on society. Just like Flynt’s nephew told CNN, from the adult entertainment empire he built to the incident that left him paralyzed and spent the whole life on a golden wheelchair, everything about this man is sordid yet incredibly intriguing. 

Even Larry Flynt net worth at the time he died becomes a huge question. But first, let’s take a look at his controversial life.

Larry Flynt’s Early Life

Even if you don’t know exactly how much Larry Flynt net worth is, there is one thing for sure: He was the epitome of everything rich and grand. His childhood, however, was far from that. 

Larry Flynt was born in 1942 in a literal log cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky. His mother abandoned the family, leaving him with an alcoholic father. In his biography, the founder of ‘Hustler’ recalled an upbringing full of misfortune, sexual trauma, and peculiarity. 

When Flynt was seven years old, a girl six years older fondled his penis in front of a cousin. Two years later, the boy caught one of his grandmother’s hens, penetrated it, and slaughtered it in a panic attack. At the age of 15, Flynt tried to escape home, only to be captured by an armed man claiming to be a cop. The man demanded him to drop his trousers and performed oral sex on the frightened teen. 

Not long after, he lied about his age to enlist in the military and, during basic training, lost his virginity (or what was remained of it, at least) to a prostitute in her 40s. 

All of those experiences contributed to Larry Flynt’s sexual obsession. Ironically, it was what helped him rise to wealth and become the biggest name in the porn industry. 

From The Founding Of Pornographic Empire ‘Hustler’… 

From The Founding Of Pornographic Empire ‘Hustler’...
Larry Flynt And Hustler’s 40th-Anniversary Edition – Source: New York Post

Larry Flynt spent most of his youth in the military before being discharged at the age of 22. He then moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he worked several jobs to make a living, including dishwashing. 

In 1965, Flynt decided to make the biggest gamble in his life: He bought his mother’s bar using $1,800 from savings. As you can guess, that was all he had left at the time. Fortunately, the young man was blessed with a talent in entrepreneurship: After renovating the bar, he began to earn as much as $1,000 per week and used the profits to get two other bars. 

1968 was a milestone for Larry Flynt as he founded Hustler – a new upper-class club that featured nude hostess dancers. At that time, he set his mind on building a pornographic empire. Soon after, Flynt expanded his chain of adult clubs to other Ohio cities. Each of them was grossing between $260,000 and $520,000 per year.

What dragged Flynt into publication was no less than a coincidence, though. Initially, he started the Hustler newsletter to promote his strip clubs. It was just a two-page, black-and-white newsletter published in January 1972. 

Thanks to the explicit pornographic content on women, it became a great hit. That wasn’t something Flynt expected, but he certainly knew how to grab the opportunity. A few years later, the newsletters for the clubs had grown into the first publication of Hustler Magazine. It was the first magazine to showcase women’s exposed vulvas in an erotic way. 

From there, Flynt went even further. He paid a paparazzo $18,000 for nude photographs of former first lady Jackie Kennedy and published them in his August 1975 issue. He sold more than a million copies of the magazine in just a few days.

To The Assassination Attempt That Left Him Spending The Rest Of His Life On A Wheel Chair

In fact, Larry Flynt’s infamous, controversial business formed the perfect backdrop for his gold-plated, velvet-lined wheelchair. Due to the nature of his content, he had been involved in numerous legal battles and drew the ire of feminists. 

In March 1978, Flynt and his attorney, Gene Reeves Jr, were embroiled in a legal dispute centered around obscenity accusations made against the publisher. They came under fire from a sniper standing across the street on their way back to the courtroom. Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist and serial murderer, was later revealed as the perpetrator.

“I saw that interracial couple he had, photographed there, having sex,” said Franklin right before his execution. “It just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with Blacks, Indians with Indians. [Asians] with [Asians]. I threw the magazine down and thought, I’m gonna kill that guy.”

After the assassination attempt, Flynt suffered permanent spinal damage and had to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His injuries, according to reports, caused him tremendous agony, which led to subsequent operations and addition to prescription pain relievers. 

To The Assassination Attempt That Left Him Spending The Rest Of His Life On A Wheel Chair
In Later Years, Flynt Used An $80,000 Gold-Plated Wheelchair – Source: edLINES

Nonetheless, the misfortune didn’t seem to slow him down. For many years, Flynt continued to grow his reputation and wealth in the porn industry while thriving for free speech before he died of heart failure at his Hollywood Hills home. He summed up his belief in one sentence: “You have to be able to tolerate what you don’t necessarily like so you can be free.”

Larry Flynt Net Worth At The Time Of His Death 

Larry Flynt Net Worth At The Time Of His Death
How Much Is Larry Flynt Worth? – Source: Somesuch Stories

So at the time of his death, how much was Larry Flynt net worth? As Celebrity Net Worth points out, it is far more than you can expect. The ‘Hustler’ honcho owned a fortune of around $500 million. 

Well, that’s quite an accomplishment for someone who started with a single bar in Dayton, Ohio, in the 1960s. Larry Flynt net worth made him one of the richest publishers in the U.S. In addition, Flynt was among the 50 Most Powerful People in the pornography industry, according to Arena. 

With such affluence, there was no surprise Larry Flynt also owned many real estates. One of them was a resort-style residence with a swimming pool and ocean views in Maui County, Hawaii, which he bought in 2015 for $5.7 million. Another one was Hustle’s Beverly Hills headquarters, a 10-story property that came at $89 million. 

When the Playboy Mansion came up for sale in 2016 asking $200 million, the Rabelaisian pornographer also expressed his interest in purchasing the manor and turning it into the Hustler mansion. What a great way to flaunt wealth! Although Daren Metropoulos later bought the place for half the initial price, Flynt’s comment turned it into one of the craziest real estate stories of all time. 

Other Facts About Larry Flynt 

Flynt Fought To Save The Man Who Crippled Him

Franklin, who shot Larry Flynt with a .44 round and left him paralyzed, later received 8 charges of murder in Missouri and was sentenced to die by lethal injection. When Flynt received the news, he publicly pleaded with Missouri not to carry out the execution. The murderer was killed by lethal injection in 2013 anyway.

Larry Flynt: ‘Don’t Execute The Man Who Shot Me!’

He Sent Every Issue Of ‘Hustler’ To All Members Of Congress

Every single edition of Hustler issued since 1983 was sent to all 535 members of Congress, no matter what kind of hardcore porn they featured. That means Public authorities had received over 243,000 hardcore pornographic magazines.

About these deliveries, Flynt said, “One of your colleagues said on the floor that no decent member of Congress would accept Hustler, but that’s exactly why I sent it to you in the first place. You’re all a bunch of lowlife, [string of expletives] that should be hounded from office for being political, inept, quacks.”

He Published Nancy Reagan’s Phone Number 

Larry Flynt acquired the First Lady’s personal telephone number and published it in his magazine. Along with the number, the ad read: 

“FREE PHONE SEX: My husband’s been screwing you for years so I thought it was the least I could do.”

The same thing happened to Senator Jesse Helms. The White House subsequently requested that Hustler stop using the First Lady’s phone number in its advertisements.

A Documentary About Him Was Released In 2007 

In 2007, a documentary covering the career of ‘Hustler’ creator was released, namely ‘Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone’. This documentary unfolds various aspects of Flynt’s life, from his fight for freedom of speech to the death of his wife due to AIDs. 

‘Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone’ Trailer

Whether you love or hate this man, Joan Brooker-Marks’ movie is still worth a shot. The story told in ‘Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone’ is so American and you will be impressed by how complex Flynt’s personality was. The movie received a user rating of 7.4/10 on IMDb and an audience score of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Final Words

Until the end, Larry Flynt net worth made him one of the most powerful figures in the adult entertainment industry. Still, was that everything he fought for? Did he hope history would remember him as a free speech advocate instead of the ‘King of Smut’?

“I’ll leave that for the historians,” Flynt said. “I’ll probably be a footnote somewhere.”

Looking for more exciting news? Find out the truth behind Kenny Rogers’ plastic surgery or the secrets of Rodney Dangerfield in our Entertainment section! Everything is free and informative on JobandEdu. 

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