Larry Flynt, legendary Publisher of HUSTLER Magazine and fierce First Amendment champion, is no longer with us, but his remarkable legacy will forever remain alive. His courage and unflagging fight for free speech will continue to serve as an inspiration for all who cherish and defend liberty.
Mr. Flynt’s story is truly one of a kind, a tale so incredible, it was developed into the 1996 Hollywood film The People vs. Larry Flynt. Born in Kentucky in 1942, Mr. Flynt launched HUSTLER Newsletter to promote his chain of gentlemen’s clubs in 1972. As the newsletter increased in popularity, its page count grew, and in July 1974 the first issue of HUSTLER Magazine was published.
The magazine quickly gained attention for its bold, uncompromising editorial stances and graphic content, and Mr. Flynt became known as a dedicated champion of the First Amendment. That reputation was cemented by a number of legal battles, perhaps most notably a lawsuit filed against him by the Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr. over a Campari liqueur ad parody that described Falwell’s “first time” with his mother in an outhouse. The case made its way to the United States Supreme Court, which in 1988 granted Mr. Flynt a unanimous decision, a landmark victory that established a critical First Amendment precedent, namely that protecting free speech is more important than protecting a public figure’s reputation or emotions. Shows like The Daily Show, SNL, Real Time with Bill Maher, and even editorial cartoons owe a significant debt to Mr. Flynt’s extended legal battle.