Bob Guccione (1930 – 2010) was an American publisher and the founder of Penthouse magazine, a publication that was one of the most successful adult magazines of the 20th century.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Guccione was the son of Italian immigrants. He dropped out of high school and worked various odd jobs before entering the military in 1950. After leaving the military, Guccione worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for several magazines, including Esquire and The New York Times. He also wrote fiction and painted, although he was never very successful at either.
In 1965, Guccione founded Penthouse magazine, which was very successful and made him a millionaire. The magazine was known for its explicit pictures and articles, which often featured nudity and sexual content. Despite the controversy that surrounded the magazine, Guccione was unapologetic and defended his right to publish the content he wanted.
Guccione also branched out into other forms of media. He produced several films, including the 1980 film Caligula, which starred Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren. The film was a commercial failure but gained a cult following due to its explicit content. Guccione also invested in several other businesses, including a casino in Atlantic City.
Guccione was married three times and had four children. He was a self-proclaimed atheist and a philanthropist, giving generously to charities, including the United Way and the March of Dimes.
In the late 1990s, Guccione's fortunes began to decline. His businesses suffered as he failed to keep up with the changing times. In 2003, he declared bankruptcy. He died in 2010 in Texas at the age of 79.
Despite his controversy, Guccione was an influential figure in the adult entertainment industry. He took risks and pushed boundaries with his magazine, films, and other businesses. His legacy continues to live on in Penthouse, which still publishes today.