Inside Hugh Hefner's Final Days: 'He Was Loving Life,' Says Source

Hefner died surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday

In his final days, Hugh Hefner was in a great place.

“Hef was loving life,” says a source of the Playboy founder, who died Wednesday at the age of 91. “He was social and keeping up his routine.”

And though Hefner suffered from a long-term back condition that limited his mobility and was also hard of hearing, the publishing pioneer kept working until the end. “He was sharp as a tack,” says the source. “He was still making business decisions.”

And the Playboy Mansion’s busy social schedule continued, even if Hef wasn’t the constant fixture he was in the past. “He may not have gone to all the parties,” says the source. “But he loved that they were still going on at his house. He was the same Hef.”

When he died, Hefner was surrounded by loved ones, who are now still absorbing the fact that he’s gone. “His family and friends are still in shock,” says the source. “No one was expecting it would happen when it did.”

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Last March, Hefner described how he felt about getting older in what would be his final interview with PEOPLE.

“It’s nice to look back on very sweet moments. I just think I’m very very blessed,” he said.

On Thursday, the Playboy mogul’s four children — Christie, 64, David, 62, Marston, 27, and Cooper, 26 — went out to dinner at the Japanese restaurant Katsuya in Brentwood, California and were photographed raising a glass, presumably in their late father’s honor.

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