LOs Larry Logan has filled his life with accomplishment and creativity

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE -  Larry and Lilly Logan reel in the years by looking at this bulky book about Playboy magazine. The Logans made many memories by attending Hugh Hefner's parties for 17 years. Larry Logan has led a charmed life and he has worked hard to make it that way.

The long-time Lake Oswego resident has had a career as a photographer, journalist and business entrepreneur that fills an observer with awe and envy. But he does not have an ounce of pretention about it.

“I’ve never had a job,” Logan said. “I’ve always been allowed to do interesting things. It’s never been drudgery. I just get to have fun.”

In that case, Logan does a good job of having fun. He spent 17 years as a photographer for Playboy magazine, where his duties included being the personal photographer and troubleshooter for publisher Hugh Hefner. That was a tough act to follow, but Logan has spent his subsequent career as a business innovator and marketer who helps companies get where they want to be. He is now mentoring five high-tech startups.

“I’ve had some good business accomplishments,” Logan said. “The fun part is winning in business.” by: SUBMITTED - Hugh Hefner was having bad luck with personal photographers until he met Larry Logan, at right.

Logan started out as a kid in Louisiana whose life took a giant turn when his godfather gave him a camera as a gift just before he departed on a trip to Europe with his high school class.

“I was shooting everything,” Logan said.

When he came back to Louisiana, Logan kept on shooting and quickly developed into an outstanding young photo journalist.

While attending the University of Arkansas he was selected as the top student photojournalist in the nation by Newsday.

Besides being lucky in photography, Logan was lucky in love. It happened because he was misbehaving in his high school English class.

“The teacher moved him next to me, hoping it would make him more docile,” Lilly Logan said. “It worked.”

Boy, did it. Lilly and Larry became high school sweethearts, and the bond held when they went their separate ways to college, with Lilly going to Louisiana State University.

At the time, Lilly thought, “This is not working.”

After 42 years of marriage, it is obvious Lilly was not much of a prophet.

Fresh out of college, young Larry continued his hotshot ways by going to work for Julius Shulman, the 20th Century’s leading documentarian of architecture and design.

An awesome opportunity, right? Well, something more awesome came along.

One night Logan was called in to take photos at a party thrown by Hugh Hefner, who was well on his way to revolutionizing sexual mores in America with his wildly popular magazine.

While his success was monumental, Hef (as Logan calls him) had a problem. He couldn’t find a personal photographer he liked.

“One of his associates called me up and said, ‘You hit it off with Hefner,’ ” Logan said. “He had gone through three or four photographers.”

Logan thrived where other photographers failed because he still had a journalist’s mentality. He could be like a fly on the wall as he practically stayed at Hefner’s feet for years.

Yet he could react quickly if the situation demanded it.

Anyone meeting Larry Logan asks the same question: Did you photograph any Playmates? The answer is yes, of course.

Logan photographed many women on such memorable projects as Girls of the Pac 10 and Wet & Wild. However, his interests were more than skin deep.

“I didn’t really want to do shoots of a 19-year-old who had never lived an interesting day in her life,” Logan said. “I was much more interested in flying to Taos, New Mexico, and meeting a great author.”

Lilly Logan always gets asked a question, too. What is it like being married to a Playboy photographer? People may be disappointed when she doesn’t burst into tears.

“Larry loved his work, and it is much easier living with a man who loves his work,” Lilly said. “He’s a character. It’s never dull around here.”

Logan loved working for a company that had the resources to put him on a helicopter on a trip to a mountain, just to take a photo. He also loved meeting some of the greatest personalities in the world as the photographer on the team that produced the iconic Playboy interviews. Just to name a famous few, there were Paul Newman, Bette Davis, Linda Ronstadt, Julie Andrews, John Huston and George Carlin.

Ironically, it was coming to Lake Oswego that led Logan to giving up his dream job. He and Lilly were invited to spend the summer at the Lake Oswego home of Playboy Vice President Dick Rosetti.

“That was it,” Logan said. “We fell in love with this place. We got a real estate agent and bought a home. Hef was fine with it as long as he could get me on the phone.”

But it wasn’t so fine with the Logans. For several days every week Logan had to travel to his job in Los Angeles, and Lilly was too often left home as a single mom of daughter Lisa Anne and son Paul.

“After two years of heavy commuting, it was enough,” Logan said. “I said, ‘My family needs me.’ ”

He was now Larry Logan, business man and family man, and the next phase of his life was even more rewarding and successful. Most rewarding was that his two children grew up to have highly successful careers of their own.

Logan can look back on a wonderful life, but he is also looking forward to the future. There are plenty of good times ahead.

“I know my life will continue to have many experiences,” Logan said. “There is plenty more to come. New doors will open for me.”

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