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Nestled in the southern side of Mount Lee in Los Angeles, the HOLLYWOOD sign is easily one of America’s most recognizable landmarks and it is here to stay! Today Playboy billionaire Hugh Hefner made a generous donation guaranteeing the existence of the sign for a very long time.

The iconic HOLLYWOOD sign actually was erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a new housing development. The letters initially spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND.

The Trust For Public Land has been on a mission to raise $12.5 million to buy the 138 acres surrounding the sign so that the land will not be developed and the sign can remain intact. The Playboy founder gave the final donation of $900K. Other donations came from studios, networks as well as personal donations from Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Norman Lear.

Hefner said, “My childhood dreams and fantasies came from the movies, and the images created in Hollywood had a major influence on my life and Playboy. As I’ve said before, the HOLLYWOOD sign is Hollywood’s Eiffel Tower and I am pleased to help preserve such an important cultural landmark.”

This is not the first time that Hugh has helped in the mission to save the HOLLYWOOD sign. In 1978 he donated $27,777 dollars along with eight other donors to replace all nine letters. The 45 foot letters were crafted out of steel and painted white. The refurbishment was unveiled 32 years ago before a live television audience of 60 million people.

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Photo: WENN