Bob Guccione, 1930-2010

It’s a sad day for sleazy Italians and lovers of beaver shots everywhere: Penthouse founder Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione has passed away at the age of 79. Guccione, who forever changed the way we look at nude women — I mean, he really got up in there — is the first in the triumvirate our nation’s naked lady picture pushers to die. Despite a glamorous, incredibly tacky life that featured forays into film, science (“He once hired 82 scientists to develop a small nuclear reactor as a low-cost energy source, but it came to nothing and cost $17 million.”) and gambling, Guccione lived long enough to see his fortune melt away, and finally suffered the ultimate indignity that any person can, dying in Plano, Texas. It is a tragic American tale.