Photographer and publisher Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione (December 17, 1930 – October 20, 2010) His first business venture was the establishment of the pornographic magazine Penthouse, which he did in 1965.
With more explicit erotic content, a unique style of soft-focus photography, and in-depth reporting on government corruption scandals and the art world, this was meant to compete with Hugh Hefner’s Playboy.
Guccione was a billionaire by 1982 and possessed one of Manhattan’s largest houses. In the 1990s, however, the growth of the free online pornography sector severely reduced its market share. His publishers went insolvent in 2003, and he resigned as chairman of the board.
Originally from Sicily, Guccione was raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey, where he attended Bergenfield High School and Bergenfield Seminary and was an altar boy.
A housewife mother and an accountant father raised him. He pondered becoming a priest, but ultimately decided against it. Blair Academy, a private preparatory school in Blairstown, New Jersey, was where he went to high school.
When Guccione was just a teenager, he married Lilyann Becker. Tonina was born to the couple. As a result of the breakdown of his marriage, he took their child and fled to Europe to pursue a career as a painter.
With Muriel moving to London and him tying the knot there, he became an Englishman. Robert Jr., Nina, Tony, and Nicky were their four children.
Muriel launched a company selling pinup posters while Guccione ran a chain of laundromats to make ends meet. He later found work as a cartoonist for the London American, an American weekly newspaper.
Box Cards, the amusing greeting card firm owned by Bill Box, commissioned him from time to time to draw cartoons.
Lilyanne Becker was Guccione’s first wife when he was just a teenager. In 1966, he married Muriel Hudson and divorced her in 1979; they had two children together.
In 1988, he married Kathy Keeton, a native of South Africa, whom he had been in a long-term relationship with. After a long struggle with cancer, Keeton died in 1997 from complications following surgery to remove a blockage in her digestive tract.
Her age was 58. April Dawn Warren, an ex-model, was rumored to be Keeton’s hand-picked successor during her final months. His marriage to Warren took place in 2006, and they remained together until his death.
Posthumously, Guccione listed Keeton as president of Penthouse but later added Warren to the masthead after she had been creative director for eleven years.
How Much Money Did Bob Guccione Have?
During his peak net worth of $400 million dollars, Bob Guccione was an American businessman, publisher, photographer, and art collector. Penthouse, the pornographic magazine he founded and published, was named for Bob Guccione.
To compete with Playboy, Penthouse was first published here in the United States in 1969 and in the United Kingdom in 1965. The penthouse was full of tales of scandals, government cover-ups, and unscrupulous behavior on the part of government officials.
Bob shot most of the models for Penthouse’s early issues. The life of Guccione in his Manhattan mansion was far more tranquil than that of Hugh Hefner.
It cost $5 million a year to maintain the 30-room estate, which was lavishly decorated.
Peak and Trough in Wealth
In 1982, he was one of the 400 wealthiest persons in the United States, with a fortune estimated at $400 million. Taking into account the effects of inflation, that sum would be equivalent to about $1.8 billion today.
According to Guccione, who spoke to the New York Times about Penthouse in April 2002, the company made between $3.5 and $4 billion in 30 years and approximately $500 million in profits.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) showed up at my door in 1985 with a $45 million outstanding tax bill.
The unfortunate truth is that Bob’s wealth was depleted almost as soon as it was amassed, thanks to a series of risky investments and endeavors.
The Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino and a nuclear fusion power plant cost him hundreds of millions of dollars in personal wealth. It wasn’t until he was in the final stages of his life that he was able to get out of debt and sell his New York City property.
Death and Illness
The heavy smoker Guccione had undergone throat cancer surgery in 2004 and stated: “At the base of my tongue, I had a small tumor the size of an almond. There is a good chance the remedy is just as harmful as the disease itself.
It has impacted my capacity to swallow, my tongue’s movement, and my ability to speak.” Guccione died on October 20, 2010, two months shy of his 80th birthday, at Plano Specialty Hospital in Plano, Texas, with his wife April by his side.