Larry Flynt, founder of ‘Hustler,’ dead at 78

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FILE – In this April 30, 2011 file photo, Larry Flynt speaks in Los Angeles, Calif. Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. He lays out the offer in a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post. (AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)

(NEXSTAR) – Publisher and free speech activist Larry Flynt, who turned “Hustler” magazine into an adult entertainment empire, died at the age of 78 Wednesday.

His nephew, Jimmy Flynt Jr., told The Associated Press that Flynt died of heart failure at his Hollywood Hills home in Los Angeles. Jimmy Flynt said his uncle had been in frail health and died of heart failure.

Flynt was involved in several high-profile legal cases over his publications. His story inspired the 1996 Oscar-nominated film “The People vs. Larry Flynt” in which he was portrayed by Woody Harrelson.

As founder of one of the most explicit adult-oriented magazines, Larry Flynt constantly challenged the establishment and became a target for the religious right and feminist groups.

During an obscenity trial in March of 1978, a gunman named Joseph Paul Franklin shot Flynt as he returned to the Gwinnett County Courthouse, leaving him partially paralyzed.

Flynt made headlines in October, 2017 when he offered “up to $10 million” to anyone who could provide information that would lead to the removal of former President Trump from office. The year before, Flynt offered $1 million for compromising video or audio in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” video of Trump bragging about groping women.

Flynt is survived by wife Elizabeth Berrios as well as his five daughters and son, TMZ reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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