TODAY |

Hustler porn empire founder, free speech crusader Larry Flynt dead at 78

Porn empire founder Larry Flynt has died at 78.

Larry Flynt. Source: Getty

According to TMZ, family said the he died of heart failure in Los Angeles this morning.

Flynt has been one of the biggest names in adult entertainment for over five decades, having launched Hustler magazine in 1974.

The magazine brought him fame and fortune — including being played by Woody Harrelson in The People vs. Larry Flynt.

But it also led to him being shot in 1978 in a murder attempt by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. He spent his days in a wheelchair since then.

The controversial figure became a known free-speech activist when he defended satire in the US Supreme Court and fought multiple court battles to argue the First Amendment.

In his personal life, the publisher married five times - his current wife Elizabeth Berrios in 1998.

He had five daughters and a son, as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.