Larry Flynt has died. He was 78-years old. The Hustler Magazine founder died from heart failure in Los Angeles, according to his family. Larry Flynt has been one of the biggest names in the adult industry since starting Hustler Magazine back in 1974. He later went on to publish more provocative magazines over the years, which brought on continuous legal battles that lasted throughout most of his life. Flynt was famously portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the Academy Award-nominated 1996 movie, The People vs. Larry Flynt.
A lot of Larry Flynt’s legal woes were chronicled in The People vs. Larry Flynt, including his court case with televangelist Jerry Falwell, which made it to the US Supreme Court. Hustler Magazine was known for its crude humor, and its political satire, which often featured Falwell in the 1980s. He sued the magazine and Flynt won. It was a “landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court ruling that the First and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit public figures from recovering damages for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), if the emotional distress was caused by a caricature, parody, or satire of the public figure that a reasonable person would not have interpreted as factual.”
Larry Flynt was paralyzed from the waist down due to a 1978 murder attempt by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. Flynt was involved in an obscenity trial, when Franklin shot him outside of the courthouse, though he did not admit it until many years later. Flynt was confined to a wheelchair and was in excruciating pain after multiple surgeries. He developed an addiction to painkillers and suffered a stroke caused by an overdose to one of his many medications.
Larry Flynt recovered from the stroke, but was left with a speech slur for the rest of his life. He was married five times. He married his fourth wife, Althea Flynt, in 1976 after meeting in 1971. They were married until her death in 1987 at the age of 33. Althea was portrayed by Hole front woman Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Flynt went on to marry Elizabeth Berrios in 1998, and remained with her until his death.
In addition to Hustler Magazine and his other adult-themed publications, Larry Flynt expanded his empire to include the Hustler Strip Clubs and the Hustler Hollywood Store, along with the Hustler Casino in California. Many assumed that the casino would not last due to Flynt’s seemingly constant legal woes, but they were proven wrong. It has been in operation since June 2000 and it has proven to be a great success for him. Of all of Flynt’s businesses “the Hustler Casino is the most profitable, earning over $20 million annually as of 2007,” according to sources. Flynt even tried his hand at politics several times, though he proved to be unsuccessful. TMZ was the first to report on the death of Larry Flynt.