Al Goldstein
Al Goldstein, founder of Screw, dies at 77Wiki Commons

The inventor of hardcore porn has died at the age of 77 in a hospice in Brooklyn, a friend has confirmed.

Al Goldstein, a chronic masturbator and bed wetter, was the publisher of Screw magazine, the first hardcore porn title in the US.

His attorney, Charles C DeStefano, said he had suffered from a long illness but had remained a colourful character until the end.

"Up until a month ago he still had that spark," he said. "In fact, he gave me the middle finger. As he did it, he smiled at me. I knew he was still Al Goldstein inside this shell of a body."

Goldstein broke down US legal barriers regarding pornography and went up against politicians, religion and all things moral.

In an interview in 2001, he said: "To be angry is to be alive. I'm an angry Jew. I love it. Anger is better than love. I think it is more pure. There's so much to be angry about, because people are ripped off, the election went to the wrong person, the good guys usually lose and society sucks."

Goldstein was born in Brooklyn. As a bed wetter and stutterer, he was an easy target for bullies. In his spare time he watched porn and became a chronic mastubator.

Al Goldstein
Goldstein had suffered from a long illness, his friend said.Reuters

He founded Screw with Jim Buckley in 1968. "Screw grew from a combination of many factors, chief of which was my own dissatisfaction with the sex literature of 1968 and my yearning for a publication that reflected my sexual appetites," he wrote in a Screw anthology in 1971.

However, he had a greater mission than publishing pornographic images and sought to convince a generation that sex was not wrong. He went up against organised religion with editorials, saying churches created "a lot of embarrassed people who bought nudie magazines on the sly.

"I may be making a lot of money, but I really believe I'm doing some good by demythologising a lot about sexuality."

While the magazine sold 140,000 copies per week at its height, it was dogged by lawsuits and Goldstein was regularly arrested on obscenity charges. In 1974 a judge threw out an obscenity case against him, ending the government's willingness to prosecute in similar cases.

Screw was eventually pushed out of the market by Hustler and other similar titles and Goldstein became depressed and angry.

After the magazine folded in 2003, he filed for bankruptcy protection and he ended up sleeping in a car and living in a homeless shelter.

Speaking about Goldstein, DeStefano said: "[He was an] intellectual who cared about the world and geopolitics."