Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ott’s Hott Throwback Thursday

Former BJ photographer Ott Gangl, known during the day for his self-described “Sunday sin-ins” of photographing scantily-clad (at most) females in the BJ photo studio, revisits the beginning of Larry Flint’s Hustler Magazine.

The first cover featured, appropriately, "Charlie Hustle," Cincinnati Reds second baseman Pete Rose. And, of course, on the inside, a naked woman.

eBay wouldn’t let Ott sell the first Hustler issue on its site even though Ott (and I agree) consider it a collectible. By today’s standards, Ott says, it is pretty tame.

Larry Claxton Flynt, Jr. was born in Salyersville, Kentucky and grew up in Magoffin County’s Lakeville, which is 70 miles west of Williamson, West Virginia, my first stop after my graduation from West Virginia University School of Journalism.

Flynt's sister, Judy, died from leukemia at age 5. Larry’s parents split up when he was 10. He moved to Hamlet, Indiana with his mom and brother Jimmy.

When he was 16, Larry ran away from home and enlisted in the Army. That lasted a year. Living in Dayton by now, he enlisted again – in the Navy in 1960.

In 1964, civilian Larry married and opened a bar in Dayton and sold moonshine whiskey. Then he opened another bar.

Then Flynt struck gold: The Hustler Club in 1968, a strip joint. By 1971 he had Hustler clubs in Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati and Akron.

He fathered children by at least three strippers.

While the Pete Rose Hustler came out in 1973, the official start of Hustler is listed as July 1974.
The string of nudes included former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

In 1978 Flynt was shot by neo-Nazi white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin outside a Lawrenceville, Georgia courthouse, leaving Larry paralyzed from the waist down.

Flynt moved his publishing company from Ohio to Los Angeles, living in a huge mansion in Bel Air with Althea Leasure, his wife since 1976. 

Flynt's marriage to Althea deteriorated when she was diagnosed with AIDS in 1983.  She drowned in her bathtub in 1987 after a heroin overdose.

Flynt still runs Flynt Publications out of Los Angeles.

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