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Bob Guccione Net Worth

Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione (/ɡuːtʃiˈoʊni/goo-chee-OH-nee;[a] December 17, 1930 – October 20, 2010) was an American photographer and publisher. He founded the adult magazine Penthouse in 1965. This was aimed at competing with Hugh Hefner‘s Playboy, but with more explicit erotic content, a special style of soft-focus photography, and in-depth reporting of government corruption scandals and the art world. By 1982 Guccione was listed in the Forbes 400 wealth list, and owned one of the biggest mansions in Manhattan. However, he made some extravagant investments that failed, and the growth of free online pornography in the 1990s greatly diminished his market. In 2003, Guccione’s publishers filed for bankruptcy and he resigned as chairman.

What was Bob Guccione’s Net Worth?

Bob Guccione was an American businessman, publisher, photographer and art collector who had a peak net worth of $400 million dollars. Bob Guccione was best known as the founder and publisher of adult magazine Penthouse. Penthouse was launched in England in 1965 and in North America in 1969 to compete with Playboy. Penthouse had stories about scandals government cover-ups, and corruption. For Penthouse’s early issues Bob photographed most of the models himself. Unlike Hugh Hefner, Guccione lived a more peaceful life in his Manhattan mansion. That mansion, which had 30 rooms and was luxuriously appointed, cost $5 million per year just to maintain.

Wealth Peak and Fall

In 1982 his $400 million net worth made him one of the 400 richest people in America. That net worth is worth the same as around $1.8 billion today after adjusting for inflation. In a New York Times interview in April 2002, Guccione revealed that Penthouse grossed between $3.5 and $4 billion in revenue over 30 years, and netted nearly $500 million in profits.

In 1985, the IRS came calling with a back-tax bill totalling $45 million.

Unfortunately, Bob spent his fortune as quickly as he earned it on extravagant investments and endeavors. He lost hundreds of millions of dollars of his personal fortune from ventures like the Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, and a nuclear fusion power plant. By the end of his life he was personally in debt to the tune of millions of dollars, his business was bankrupt and he was attempting to sell his beloved New York City mansion.

Early Life

Bob Guccione was born on December 17, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York to housewife Nina and accountant Anthony. He was of Italian ancestry, and was raised Catholic in Bergenfield, New Jersey. As a teen, Guccione went to Blair Academy in Blairstown.

Career Beginnings

To help make ends meet for his family, Guccione managed a chain of Laundromats. He eventually landed a job as a cartoonist for the weekly newspaper the London American, and occasionally illustrated for the greeting card company Box Cards.

Penthouse Magazine

In an attempt to compete with Hugh Hefner’s popular Playboy magazine, Guccione founded the men’s adult magazine Penthouse in 1965. To distinguish it from the competition, Guccione introduced more sensational editorial content, as well as an investigative style of writing focused on such issues as government scandals and art-world dealings. A number of writers, such as James Dale Davidson and Seymour Hersh, exposed major US government corruption in their articles for the publication. Unlike Hefner and Playboy, Guccione did not originally have extensive resources. He personally photographed most of the Penthouse models during the magazine’s early years, and established the soft-focus aesthetic that would eventually become a signature of the Penthouse style.

Art Collection

A globally renowned art collector during his life, Guccione amassed paintings by such famous artists as Modigliani, Picasso, El Greco, Degas, Botticelli, Matisse, Renoir, Pissarro, and Dalí.

In 2002, this collection was sold at auction by Sotheby’s. Due to the depressed art market following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the sale garnered $19 million, $40 million less than had been predicted by the auction house. The money was ultimately used to pay off some of Guccione’s personal debts. Guccione also maintained a personal collection of his own art and memorabilia; this collection was acquired by entrepreneur Jeremy Frommer in 2012.

Other Endeavors

Among his other endeavors, Guccione founded the magazines “Omni,” “Viva,” and “Longevity.” In addition to collecting art, he was also an avid painter, with his work showing at such places as the Nassau County Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art.

Personal Life and Death

Guccione was wed a total of four times. He married his first wife, Lilyann Becker, when he was a teenager; they had a daughter named Tonina. The marriage was a troubled one, prompting Guccione to leave Becker to travel to Europe. There, he wed Englishwoman Muriel Hudson in 1966. The pair had four children, and divorced in 1979. Guccione subsequently dated South African native Kathy Keeton, whom he eventually married in 1988; they remained together until Keeton’s passing in 1997 from surgery complications. Guccione’s fourth and final wife was ex-model April Dawn Warren, who was allegedly handpicked by Keeton as her successor. Following a long engagement, Guccione and Warren wed in 2006.

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