Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Dennis Hof, a brothel kingpin, memoirist, reality television star and Republican political candidate who never seemed to be without a cigar, died in his sleep Monday night, according to multiple reports. He was 72.
Hof was poised to become the first pimp elected to the Nevada legislature, having campaigned as a Trump-style Republican, winning the GOP primary against a three-term incumbent and facing a novice Democratic opponent in a deep-red district, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“I was really looking forward to seeing what he would stir up in the capital,” Hof’s campaign manager, Chuck Muth, told the Times. “It would’ve really been something.”
No foul play is suspected, but an autopsy will be performed to determine cause of death, Muth tweeted Tuesday.
Unlike every other state in the union, there is no statewide Nevada law prohibiting prostitution. Instead, it's determined by population size per county. Thus, Nevada brothels are found mostly in rural areas, and they are not legal in most of its large cities, including Las Vegas, according to The Nevada Independent.
Hof was born in Arizona, and owned several gas stations in Nevada during the energy crisis in the 1970s. It was then that a madam who owned a local massage parlor made him a fateful proposition: If he would give her girls free gasoline to get to work, he could have sex with them for free.
Hof accepted the woman’s proposal.
“I soon realized I loved f---king and I couldn’t get enough of it,” Hof wrote in his 2015 memoir, “The Art of the Pimp.”
Hof purchased his first brothel, the Moonlite Ranch, in the early 1990s. By 2001, at the age of 54, he was known as America’s Pimpmaster General, a sobriquet he told the New Yorker “Hustler” magazine publisher Larry Flynt bestowed on him.
An HBO reality TV show, “Cathouse: the Series,” soon after chronicled Hof’s life as well those of the women who worked for him.
Hof’s death came after he spent the weekend celebrating his 72nd birthday with a diverse cast of friends and supporters, including porn star Ron Jeremy, tax-cut activist Grover Norquist, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, and former Arizona sheriff and politician Joe Arpaio, the Associated Press reports.
Arpaio, the controversial former six-term sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, called Hof’s death “shocking,” and said Hof seemed happy and healthy when he left the party.
Christina Parreira, a sex worker at the Love Ranch brothel where Hof died, told the Los Angeles Times that she met Hof five years ago, after she arrived from Connecticut to study sex workers for a sociology degree and wound up becoming one herself.
“I had seen his television show and I’ll admit at first I was a little starstruck,” she said. “He puts on this image, but as a person, he was one of the kindest, sweetest gentlemen I’ve ever met.”
At the time of his death, Hof owned at least seven brothels. It’s not clear if the brothels can legally operate without him, until new licenses are issued, the Los Angeles Times reports.
[Photo Credit: Getty]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.