Larry Flynt's Cause of Death: What to Know

Larry Flynt, the controversial founder of Hustler magazine and president of Larry Flynt Publications, died Wednesday at 78. News of Flynt's death was first reported Wednesday afternoon, with numerous family members confirming his passing. The shocking news left many wondering what Flynt's cause of death was.

The Washington Post was among the first outlets to report on Flynt's passing, citing the 78-year-old's brother, Jimmy Flynt. Flynt's nephew, Jimmy Flynt Jr., later told CNN his uncle had been in frail health for much of the past 30 years and confirmed his death was not related to Covid-19. Although neither Jimmy nor Flynt Jr. initially cited a specific cause of death, TMZ reported the mogul passed Wednesday morning in Los Angeles from heart failure. The outlet cited unnamed family sources.

Wednesday night, Flynt Jr. confirmed his uncle died of health failure, CBS News reported. Flynt's public relations manager confirmed in a statement obtained by the outlet that the 78-year-old "passed quietly in his sleep at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center." His wife and daughter reportedly surrounded him at the time of his death. At this time, no further details of his passing have been released, including how long he had spent in the hospital before passing.

As Flynt's nephew noted, Flynt had been in frail health for some time. He was paralyzed from the waist down in 1978 after being shot twice by white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. The shooting came amid Flynt's obscenity trial in Georgia, with Franklin, who was later executed for a separate killing, he was angered by a Hustler mixed-race photo layout, according to the Associated Press. The shooting left Flynt in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, and he also suffered unrelenting pain for many years. Flynt also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and his fourth wife died of a heroin overdose.

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Born in 1942 in Lakeville, Kentucky, Flynt was a notable figure in the porn industry for nearly 50 years. After starting his career as an Ohio strip club owner, he launched Hustler magazine in 1974. He later founded Larry Flynt Publications, which produced other pornographic magazines, including Barely Legal and Beaver Hunt. Later in life, Flynt entered the political arena. He had a brief run for president in 1984 and ran for Governor of California in a 2003 recall election. Flynt was also a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and offered payment of up to $1 million for video or audio recordings of the former president engaging in illegal or "sexually demeaning or derogatory" activity before the 2016 election. He offered a similar reward in 2017 for evidence that would lead to Trump's impeachment.