Flynt, who turned out to be richer than his pornography publisher counterpart Hugh Hefner, according to Fortune, was born on November 1, 1942 in Salyersville, Kentucky. His cause of death stemmed from heart failure, TMZ reported.
The “Hustler” founder, who at one point owned eight Hustler strip clubs across the nation and produced the “Barely Legal” porno videos for Hustler TV, became paralyzed after a man named Joseph Paul Franklin shot him with a sniper outside a courthouse in Lawrenceville, Georgia on March 7, 1978. Two years later, he suffered a near-fatal stroke after becoming addicted to painkillers.
While recovering from the gunshot wound, Flynt was taking Valium, Percocet, Librium, Demerol, morphine, Percodan, and Dialdud pills on a daily basis. The stroke was caused by an overdose of hi pain medication cocktails and permanently affected his ability to speak clearly.
Between 1983 and 1994, Flynt underwent a series of DREZ laser surgeries to help heal the damaged nerves around his gunshot wounds.
He is preceded in death by his sister, Judy, who died from leukemia at age five. His first wife, Althea Flynt, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1983 and suffered from an addiction to drugs. She was found dead in the couple’s bathtub in 1987 at age 33. They were married for 11 years. One of his daughters, Lisa Flynt-Fugate, died in a car crash in 2014. She was 47.
Flynt is survived by his fifth wife, Liz Berrios.
What Causes Heart Failure?
As stated on Mayo Clinic’s official website, heart failure, which sometimes called congestive heart failure, “occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.”
Flynt, despite being paralyzed from the waist down, continued to live a full life following his 1978 murder attempt. At some point, Flynt got a penile implant to keep his sex life active.
“Lots of men have them,” Flynt told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a little reservoir in the bottom part of your stomach, and you trigger it with a button inside your testicles that doesn’t show. Nothing shows.”
Flynt Married 5 Times & Cut Ties With All His Children Except for 1
Following Althea Flynt’s death, Flynt went on to marry and get divorced four more times. His second marriage to Kathy Barr ended in 1971 after three years together. Next, he tied the know with Peggy Mathis. After three years of marriage, they separated in 1966. His fourth marriage to Mary ended in 1962.
Flynt married his fifth wife, Liz Berrios in 1998. In 2013, Flynt revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he and Berrios, a former nurse, have an open relationship.
“I’ve been with my present wife longer than Althea,” Flynt said. “I love her to death. She knows I love and care about her.” However, “Althea was the love of my life.”
As for his children, Flynt fathered six kids throughout his many relationships, five daughters and one son. However, he only spoke to one of them, his daughter, Theresa, who works as the vice president of the Flynt Management Group. She said of her father:
He doesn’t understand people who don’t work. He offered all of his children the same thing: To go to college and get a degree and show an interest in a division of the company, and they could have a job. But none of them took him up, and he can’t identify with them, so doesn’t have a relationship with them.
Flynt’s First Amendment Legal Case Inspired the Oscar-Nominated Film, ‘The People Vs. Larry Flynt’
Woody Harrelson starred as Flynt in the 1996 film, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. Even though the movie was based on his life, Columbia Pictures refused to give Flynt a ticket to the Oscars as executives feared the porn king would try to pull a vulgar stunt on live national television.
While Harrelson ended up giving Flynt his agent’s ticket to the 69th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, the Hustler TV producer had a plane circle the theatre with a message that read, “Columbia Pictures Sucks!”
The movie nabbed two Golden Globe Awards, Best Director of a Motion Picture for Milos Forman, and Best Screenplay for Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewkski.