Hugh Hefner’s death certificate was released Tuesday, giving the public new insight into the media mogul’s death. Hefner passed away on September 27th at his Los Angeles-based Playboy Mansion, and while initial reports listed the cause of death simply as ‘natural causes,’ new reports are more specific.
According to his death certificate, Hefner’s immediate cause of death was cardiac arrest, complicated by a set of infections and other internal failures. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart is no longer able to contract properly, stopping blood flow throughout the body.
While it’s often caused by a heart attack, which happens blood-flow stops to part or all of the heart, the two aren’t synonymous. And while the most common cause of cardiac arrest is coronary artery disease, there was no indication on Hefner’s death certificate to indicate whether that was a contributing cause.
The contributing causes listed on his death certificate were a respiratory failure and two serious ongoing infections.
Six days prior to his death, Hefner had contracted septicemia and a “highly antibiotic-resistant” strain of E. Coli.
Septicemia happens when a bacterial infection contracted in a specific part of the body spreads throughout the bloodstream, endangering the rest of the body.
While the infections were listed as possible contributing causes to Hefner’s death, little is known yet about their precise contribution.
A day after his death, Hefner’s body was driven away from the Playboy mansion in one of two hearses commandeered for the occasion. The procession was accompanied by second wife Kimberly Conrad and 27-year-old son Marson Hefner.
In a private family ceremony three days after his death, Hefner was buried in a Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery plot he bought in 1992, next to first Playboy cover girl Marilyn Monroe.
The move has been controversial, given that Hefner published nude photos of Monroe without her consent, and she was never paid for his use of the images that made him rich.
Nevertheless, Crystal Hefner, Hugh’s third wife, defended the decision. When speaking to the press, she said, “He is in the place he was always certain he wanted to spend eternity.”