American publisher Larry Flynt, who turned "Hustler" magazine into a pornography empire, has died at the age of 78.
Flynt died of heart failure in Los Angeles, celebrity website TMZ reports.
A self-described free speech activist, he was involved in several high-profile legal cases over his publications. His story inspired the 1996 film "The People vs. Larry Flynt" in which he was portrayed by Woody Harrelson.
His Hustler magazine was frequently targeted by authorities over its content, leading Flynt to wage multiple court battles in an attempt to argue the First Amendment enshrining free speech.
One such case inspired the Milos Forman film in which he was portrayed by Harrelson. Hustler's November 1983 issue featured a parody of an ad attacking a then-popular televangelist, Terry Falwell.
The film tells the story of how Flynt famously beat Falwell in a case that went to the Supreme Court.
Hustler became a sensation in 1975 after publishing naked photos of Jacqueline Onassis. Flynt had bought them for thousands from a paparazzi photographer who had taken them without Onassis' knowledge. The issue in which they featured made him a millionaire, selling over a million copies, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hustler came to be ranked alongside the likes of Penthouse and Playboy, selling over a million copies a month at the height of its popularity.
The publisher was married five times, and had five children - his daughter Lisa Flynt-Fugate died in a car crash in October 2014, at the age of 47.
Flynt was tried on charges of obscenity and organised crime in 1976 in Cincinnati. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. But he was freed after serving just six days in prison after allegations of jury bias and prosecutorial misconduct.
Flynt had been in a wheelchair since 1978, when white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin shot him in an attempted murder, in retaliation for Hustler publishing images of interracial sex.
He was shot outside a courthouse while fighting another obscenity charge and suffered spinal cord damage that left him wheelchair bound for life. Later in life, Flynt struggled with an addiction to prescription drugs.
No one was ever charged with the shooting, but Franklin later admitted that he shot the publisher.