Howard Hughes
Overview
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 7, 1976) was an American business magnate
Business magnate
A business magnate, sometimes referred to as a capitalist, czar, mogul, tycoon, baron, oligarch, or industrialist, is an informal term used to refer to an entrepreneur who has reached prominence and derived a notable amount of wealth from a particular industry .-Etymology:The word magnate itself...

, investor
Investor
An investor is a party that makes an investment into one or more categories of assets --- equity, debt securities, real estate, currency, commodity, derivatives such as put and call options, etc...

, aviator
Aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world. He gained prominence from the late 1920s as a maverick film producer, making big-budget and often controversial films like The Racket
The Racket
The Racket is an American crime film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Thomas Meighan, Marie Prevost, Louis Wolheim, and George E. Stone...

(1928), Hell's Angels
Hell's Angels (film)
Hell's Angels is a 1930 American war film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon, and James Hall. The film, which was produced by Hughes and written by Harry Behn and Howard Estabrook, centers on the combat pilots of World War I...

(1930), Scarface
Scarface (1932 film)
Scarface is a 1932 American gangster film starring Paul Muni and George Raft, produced by Howard Hughes, directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson, and written by Ben Hecht based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail...

(1932), and The Outlaw
The Outlaw
The Outlaw is a 1943 American Western film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jane Russell. The supporting cast includes Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston. Hughes also produced the film, while Howard Hawks served as an uncredited co-director...

(1943). Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history; he set multiple world air-speed records, built the Hughes H-1 Racer
Hughes H-1 Racer
The Hughes H-1 was a racing aircraft built by Hughes Aircraft in 1935. It set a world airspeed record and a transcontinental speed record across the United States...

 and H-4 "Hercules"
Hughes H-4 Hercules
The Hughes H-4 Hercules is a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only flight on November 2, 1947 and the project was never advanced beyond the single example produced...

 (better known to history as the "Spruce Goose") aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

, and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways on intercontinental routes from 1946...

 which would later on merge with American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

.
Encyclopedia
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 7, 1976) was an American business magnate
Business magnate
A business magnate, sometimes referred to as a capitalist, czar, mogul, tycoon, baron, oligarch, or industrialist, is an informal term used to refer to an entrepreneur who has reached prominence and derived a notable amount of wealth from a particular industry .-Etymology:The word magnate itself...

, investor
Investor
An investor is a party that makes an investment into one or more categories of assets --- equity, debt securities, real estate, currency, commodity, derivatives such as put and call options, etc...

, aviator
Aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world. He gained prominence from the late 1920s as a maverick film producer, making big-budget and often controversial films like The Racket
The Racket
The Racket is an American crime film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Thomas Meighan, Marie Prevost, Louis Wolheim, and George E. Stone...

(1928), Hell's Angels
Hell's Angels (film)
Hell's Angels is a 1930 American war film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon, and James Hall. The film, which was produced by Hughes and written by Harry Behn and Howard Estabrook, centers on the combat pilots of World War I...

(1930), Scarface
Scarface (1932 film)
Scarface is a 1932 American gangster film starring Paul Muni and George Raft, produced by Howard Hughes, directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson, and written by Ben Hecht based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail...

(1932), and The Outlaw
The Outlaw
The Outlaw is a 1943 American Western film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jane Russell. The supporting cast includes Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston. Hughes also produced the film, while Howard Hawks served as an uncredited co-director...

(1943). Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history; he set multiple world air-speed records, built the Hughes H-1 Racer
Hughes H-1 Racer
The Hughes H-1 was a racing aircraft built by Hughes Aircraft in 1935. It set a world airspeed record and a transcontinental speed record across the United States...

 and H-4 "Hercules"
Hughes H-4 Hercules
The Hughes H-4 Hercules is a prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft company. The aircraft made its only flight on November 2, 1947 and the project was never advanced beyond the single example produced...

 (better known to history as the "Spruce Goose") aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

, and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways on intercontinental routes from 1946...

 which would later on merge with American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

. Hughes is also remembered for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder and/or chronic pain
Chronic pain
Chronic pain has several different meanings in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the initiation of pain, though some theorists and...

. His legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

.

Early years

Hughes' birthplace is recorded as either Humble
Humble, Texas
Humble is a city in Harris County, Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area.As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,579. The city shares a zip code with the small Houston neighborhood of Bordersville, although people who live in Bordersville still have Humble...

 or Houston, Texas. The date is also uncertain, though Hughes claimed his birthday was Christmas Eve. A 1941 affidavit
Affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 birth certificate
Birth certificate
A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the circumstances of the birth or to a certified copy of or representation of the ensuing registration of that birth...

 of Hughes signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and Estelle Boughton Sharp states he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County
Harris County, Texas
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 4,092,459, White Americans made up 56.6% of Harris County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 33.0% of the population. Black Americans made up 18.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.7% of Harris County's population...

, Texas. However, his baptismal
Infant baptism
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism or pedobaptism from the Greek pais meaning "child." The practice is sometimes contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or...

 record of October 7, 1906, in the parish register of St. John's Episcopal Church, in Keokuk
Keokuk, Iowa
Keokuk is a city in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Iowa and one of the county seats of Lee County. The other county seat is Fort Madison. The population was 11,427 at the 2000 census. The city is named after the Sauk Chief Keokuk, who is thought to be buried in Rand Park...

, Iowa, has his birth listed as September 24, 1905, without reference to the place of birth.

His parents were Allene Stone Gano (a descendant of Owen Tudor
Owen Tudor
Sir Owen Meredith Tudor was a Welsh soldier and courtier, descended from a daughter of the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffudd, "Lord Rhys". However, Owen Tudor is particularly remembered for his role in founding England's Tudor dynasty – including his relationship with, and probable secret marriage to,...

, second husband of Catherine of Valois
Catherine of Valois
Catherine of France was the Queen consort of England from 1420 until 1422. She was the daughter of King Charles VI of France, wife of Henry V of Monmouth, King of England, mother of Henry VI, King of England and King of France, and through her secret marriage with Owen Tudor, the grandmother of...

, Dowager
Queen Dowager
A queen dowager or dowager queen is a title or status generally held by the widow of a deceased king. In the case of the widow of a deceased emperor, the title of empress dowager is used...

 Queen of England
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

) and Howard R. Hughes, Sr.
Howard R. Hughes, Sr.
Howard Robard Hughes, Sr. was an American entrepreneur, best known as the father of Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., the famous aviation pioneer and film producer. Hughes, Sr. created the fortune that Hughes, Jr. inherited when he turned 18.-Early years:Hughes, Sr...

, who patented the two-cone roller bit
Well drilling
Well drilling is the process of drilling a hole in the ground for the extraction of a natural resource such as ground water, natural gas, or petroleum...

, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places. Howard R. Hughes, Sr. made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, and founded the Hughes Tool Company
Hughes Tool Company
Hughes Tool Company was established in 1908 as Sharp-Hughes Tool Company when Howard R. Hughes, Sr. patented a roller cutter bit that dramatically improved the rotary drilling process for oil drilling rigs. He partnered with longtime business associate Walter Benona Sharp to manufacture and market...

 in 1909.

Showing great aptitude in engineering at an early age, Hughes built Houston's first radio transmitter
Transmitter
In electronics and telecommunications a transmitter or radio transmitter is an electronic device which, with the aid of an antenna, produces radio waves. The transmitter itself generates a radio frequency alternating current, which is applied to the antenna. When excited by this alternating...

 when he was 11 years old. At 12, he was photographed in the local newspaper as being the first boy in Houston to have a "motorized
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

" bicycle, which he had built himself from parts taken from his father's steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

. He was an indifferent student with a liking for mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, flying, and things mechanical, taking his first flying lesson at 14 and later auditing math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

.

Allene Hughes died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy, or eccysis , is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity. With rare exceptions, ectopic pregnancies are not viable. Furthermore, they are dangerous for the parent, since internal haemorrhage is a life threatening complication...

. In January 1924, Howard Hughes Sr. died of a heart attack. Their deaths apparently inspired Hughes to include the creation of a medical research laboratory
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

 in his will that he signed in 1925, at age 19. Because Howard Sr.'s will had not been updated since Allene's death, Hughes inherited 75 percent of the family fortune. On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor
Emancipation of minors
An emancipated minor is a minor who is allowed to conduct a business or any other occupation on their own behalf or for their own account outside the influence of a parent or guardian. The minor will then have full contractual capacity to conclude contract with regard to the business. Whether...

, enabling him to take full control of his legacy.

Hughes was an outstanding and enthusiastic golfer from a young age, often scoring near par figures, and held a handicap of three during his twenties. He played frequently with top players, including Gene Sarazen
Gene Sarazen
Gene Sarazen was an American professional golfer, one of the world's top players in the 1920s and 1930s. He is one of five golfers to win all the current major championships in his career, the Career Grand Slam:U.S...

. Hughes rarely played competitively, and gradually gave up his interest in the sport.

Hughes dropped out of Rice University
Rice University
William Marsh Rice University, commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a heavily wooded campus in Houston, Texas, United States...

 shortly after his father's death. On June 1, 1925, he married Ella Botts Rice (1925–1929), daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston, Texas. They moved to Los Angeles, where he hoped to make a name for himself making movies.

Hollywood years

His first two films, Everybody's Acting (1927) and Two Arabian Knights
Two Arabian Knights
Two Arabian Knights is an American comedy film, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring William Boyd and Mary Astor. A silent film, Two Arabian Knights was produced by Howard Hughes and was distributed by United Artists.-Plot:...

(1928), were financial successes, the latter winning the first Academy Award for Best Director of a Comedy Picture. The Racket
The Racket
The Racket is an American crime film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Thomas Meighan, Marie Prevost, Louis Wolheim, and George E. Stone...

(1928) and The Front Page
The Front Page (1931 film)
The Front Page is a 1931 American comedy film, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien. Based on a Broadway play of the same name, the film was produced by Howard Hughes, written by Bartlett Cormack and Charles Lederer, and distributed by United Artists. The...

(1931) were also nominated for Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

. Hughes spent US$3.8 million to make the flying film Hell's Angels
Hell's Angels (film)
Hell's Angels is a 1930 American war film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon, and James Hall. The film, which was produced by Hughes and written by Harry Behn and Howard Estabrook, centers on the combat pilots of World War I...

(1930). He produced another hit, Scarface
Scarface (1932 film)
Scarface is a 1932 American gangster film starring Paul Muni and George Raft, produced by Howard Hughes, directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson, and written by Ben Hecht based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail...

(1932), a production delayed by censors' concern over its violence. The Outlaw
The Outlaw
The Outlaw is a 1943 American Western film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jane Russell. The supporting cast includes Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston. Hughes also produced the film, while Howard Hawks served as an uncredited co-director...

(1943), completed in 1941, which featured Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s....

, also received considerable attention from industry censors, this time owing to Russell's revealing costumes. Hughes designed a special bra
Brassiere
A brassiere is an undergarment that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting breasts....

 for his leading lady, although Russell decided against wearing the bra because of a mediocre fit.

Hughes' wife returned to Houston in 1929 and filed for divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

. Hughes dated many famous women, including Billie Dove
Billie Dove
Billie Dove was an American actress.-Early life and career:She was born as Bertha Bohny in New York City to Charles and Bertha Bohny who were Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired at the age of 15 by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld...

, Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

, Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner
Ava Lavinia Gardner was an American actress.She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers . She became one of Hollywood's leading actresses, considered one of the most beautiful women of her day...

, Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a British American film and stage actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946 and 1949. She is the elder sister of actress Joan Fontaine. The sisters are among the last surviving leading ladies from Hollywood of the 1930s.-Early life:Olivia de Havilland...

, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

, Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in film, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century....

 and Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney
Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...

. He also proposed to Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland , known professionally as Joan Fontaine, is a British American actress. She and her elder sister Olivia de Havilland are two of the last surviving leading ladies from Hollywood of the 1930s....

 several times, according to her autobiography No Bed of Roses. Bessie Love
Bessie Love
Bessie Love was an American motion picture actress who achieved prominence mainly in the silent films and early talkies. With a small frame and delicate features, she played innocent young girls, flappers, and wholesome leading ladies. Her role in The Broadway Melody earned her a nomination for...

 was a mistress during his first marriage. Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" , Harlow was ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute...

 accompanied him to the premiere of Hell's Angels, but Noah Dietrich
Noah Dietrich
Noah Dietrich was an American business executive, who acted as Chief Executive Officer of the Howard Hughes empire from 1925 until 1957, when, according to his own memoir, he left the Hughes operation over a dispute involving putting more of his income on a capital gains basis. The manuscript of...

 wrote many years later that the relationship was strictly professional—Hughes personally disliked Harlow. In his 1971 book, Howard: The Amazing Mr. Hughes, Dietrich said that Hughes genuinely liked and respected Jane Russell but never sought romantic involvement with her. According to Russell's autobiography, however, Hughes once tried to bed
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

 her after a party. Russell (who was married at the time) refused him and Hughes promised it would never happen again. The two maintained a professional and private friendship for many years. Hughes remained good friends with Tierney who was quoted after his failed attempts to seduce her "I don't think Howard could love anything that did not have a motor in it." Later, when Tierney's daughter Daria was born deaf and blind and with severe mental retardation
Mental retardation
Mental retardation is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors...

, due to Tierney's being exposed to rubella
Rubella
Rubella, commonly known as German measles, is a disease caused by the rubella virus. The name "rubella" is derived from the Latin, meaning little red. Rubella is also known as German measles because the disease was first described by German physicians in the mid-eighteenth century. This disease is...

 during her pregnancy, Hughes saw to it that Daria received the best medical care and paid all expenses.

On July 11, 1936, Hughes struck and killed a pedestrian named Gabriel S. Meyer with his car, at the corner of 3rd Street and Lorraine in Los Angeles. Although Hughes was certified as sober at the hospital to which he was taken after the accident, an attending doctor made a note that Hughes had been drinking. A witness to the accident told police that Hughes was driving erratically and too fast, and that Meyer had been standing in the safety zone of a streetcar stop. Hughes was booked on suspicion of negligent homicide
Negligent homicide
Negligent homicide is a criminal charge brought against people who, through criminal negligence, allow others to die.Negligent Homicide is a lesser included offense to first and second degree murder, in the sense that someone guilty of this offense can expect a more lenient sentence, often with...

 and held overnight in jail until his attorney, Neil McCarthy
Neil S. McCarthy
Neil Steere McCarthy was an American corporate and film industry lawyer, and a Thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder. A third-generation Los Angeles native, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in law...

, obtained a writ of habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

 for his release pending a Coroner's inquest. By the time of the coroner's inquiry, however, the witness had changed his story and claimed that Meyer had moved directly in front of Hughes's car. Nancy Bayly (Watts), who was in the car with Hughes at the time of the accident, corroborates this version. On July 16, 1936, Hughes was held blameless by a Coroner's jury at the inquest into Meyer's death. Hughes told reporters outside the inquiry, "I was driving slowly and a man stepped out of the darkness in front of me."

On January 12, 1957, Hughes married actress Jean Peters
Jean Peters
Jean Peters was an American actress, known as a star of 20th Century Fox in the late 1940s and early 1950s and as the second wife of Howard Hughes...

. The couple met in the 1940s, before Peters became a film actress. They had a highly publicized romance in 1947 and there was talk of marriage, but she said she could not combine it with her career. It was later claimed that Peters was "the only woman [Hughes] ever loved", and he reportedly had his security officers follow her everywhere even when they were not in a relationship. This was confirmed by actor Max Showalter
Max Showalter
Max Showalter was an American film, television, and stage actor, as well as a composer, pianist, and singer. One of Showalter's most memorable roles was as Jean Peters' character's husband in the 1953 film Niagara...

, who became a close friend of Peters during shooting of Niagara (1953). Showalter told in an interview that because he frequently met with Peters, Hughes' men threatened to ruin his career if he did not leave her alone.

Aviation

Hughes was a lifelong aircraft enthusiast and pilot. At Rogers Airport in Los Angeles, he learned to fly from pioneer aviators, including Moye Stephens. He set many world records and commissioned the construction of custom aircraft to be built for himself while heading Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

 at the airport in Glendale. Operating from there, the most technologically important aircraft he commissioned was the Hughes H-1 Racer
Hughes H-1 Racer
The Hughes H-1 was a racing aircraft built by Hughes Aircraft in 1935. It set a world airspeed record and a transcontinental speed record across the United States...

. On September 13, 1935, Hughes, flying the H-1, set the landplane airspeed record of 352 mph (566 km/h) over his test course near Santa Ana
Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California, and with a population of 324,528 at the 2010 census, Santa Ana is the 57th-most populous city in the United States....

, California (Giuseppe Motta
Giuseppe Motta (aviator)
Giuseppe Motta was an Italian World War I fighter pilot, seaplane air racer of the 1920s.After World War I, Motta tested racing seaplanes for the Schneider Trophy race. He was killed during a test flight of the Macchi M.67 after having reached 583 kilometers per hour...

 reached 362 mph in 1929 and George Stainforth
George Stainforth
Wing Commander George Hedley Stainforth AFC RAF was a British Royal Air Force pilot and the first man in the world to exceed 400 miles per hour.-Early life:...

 reached 407.5 mph in 1931, both in seaplanes). A year and a half later, on January 19, 1937, flying a redesigned H-1 Racer featuring extended wings, Hughes set a new transcontinental airspeed record by flying non-stop from Los Angeles to Newark in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds (beating his own previous record of 9 hours, 27 minutes). His average ground speed over the flight was 322 mph (518 km/h).

The H-1 Racer featured a number of design innovations: it had retractable landing gear (as Boeing Monomail had five years before) and all rivets and joints set flush into the body of the aircraft to reduce drag. The H-1 Racer is thought to have influenced the design of a number of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 fighters such as the Mitsubishi Zero, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Focke-Wulf Fw 190
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger was a German Second World War single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s. Powered by a radial engine, the 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109...

 and the F8F Bearcat
F8F Bearcat
The Grumman F8F Bearcat was an American single-engine naval fighter aircraft of the 1940s. It went on to serve into the mid-20th century in the United States Navy and other air forces, and would be the company's final piston engined fighter aircraft...

; although that has never been reliably confirmed. The H-1 Racer was donated to the Smithsonian
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 in 1975 and is on display at the National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

.

On July 10, 1938, Hughes set another record by completing a flight around the world in just 91 hours (3 days, 19 hours), beating the previous record by more than four hours. Taking off from New York City, he continued to Paris, Moscow, Omsk
Omsk
-History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

, Yakutsk
Yakutsk
With a subarctic climate , Yakutsk is the coldest city, though not the coldest inhabited place, on Earth. Average monthly temperatures range from in July to in January. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast...

, Fairbanks
Fairbanks
Fairbanks may refer to:Places in the United States*Fairbanks, Alaska, city*Fairbanks, California, unincorporated community in El Dorado County*Fairbanks, Mendocino County, California, former settlement*Fairbanks, Indiana, unincorporated community...

, Minneapolis, and continued to New York City. For this flight he flew a Lockheed Super Electra
Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Francillon, René J. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-835-6.-External links:*...

 (a twin-engine transport with a four-man crew) fitted with all of the latest radio and navigational equipment. Hughes wanted the flight to be a triumph of technology, illustrating that safe, long-distance air travel was possible. In 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport
William P. Hobby Airport
William P. Hobby Airport is a public airport in Houston, Texas, located from Downtown Houston. The airport covers and has four runways. Hobby Airport is Houston's oldest commercial airport and was the city's primary air terminal until the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport in 1969...

 in Houston, Texas, known at the time as Houston Municipal Airport
Houston Municipal Airport
Houston Municipal Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located two miles southwest of the central business district of Houston, a city in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, United States.- Facilities and aircraft :...

, was re-named Howard Hughes Airport
Houston Municipal Airport
Houston Municipal Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located two miles southwest of the central business district of Houston, a city in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, United States.- Facilities and aircraft :...

, but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person.

He also had a role in the design and financing of both the Boeing 307 Stratoliner
Boeing 307
The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin. This feature allowed the plane to cruise at an altitude of 20,000 ft , well above weather disturbances. The pressure differential was 2.5 psi , so at 14,700 ft the cabin altitude...

 and Lockheed L-049 Constellation
Lockheed Constellation
The Lockheed Constellation was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, USA, facility. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in numerous models, all distinguished by a...

.

Hughes received many awards as an aviator, including the Harmon Trophy
Harmon Trophy
The Harmon Trophy is a set of three international trophies, to be awarded annually to the world's outstanding aviator, aviatrix , and aeronaut...

 in 1936 and 1938, the Collier Trophy
Collier Trophy
The Collier Trophy is an annual aviation award administered by the U.S. National Aeronautics Association , presented to those who have made "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space...

 in 1938, the Octave Chanute Award
Octave Chanute Award
This award was created in early 1902 by the Western Society of Engineers for papers of merit on engineering innovations. It is still awarded as of 2011. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc...

 in 1940, and a special Congressional Gold Medal in 1939 "in recognition of the achievements of Howard Hughes in advancing the science of aviation and thus bringing great credit to his country throughout the world." According to his obituary in the New York Times, Hughes never bothered to come to Washington to pick up the Congressional Gold Medal. It was eventually mailed to him by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

.

Hughes D-2 and XF-11

The Hughes D-2
Hughes D-2
-Bibliography:* Barton, Charles. "Howard Hughes and the 10,000 ft. Split-S." Air Classics, Vol. 18, no. 8, August 1982.* Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920: Volume II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55750-550-0.* Winchester, Jim. "Hughes XF-11."...

 was conceived in 1939 as a bomber with 5 crew members, powered by 42-cylinder Wright R-2160 Tornado engines. In the end it appeared as 2 person fighter-reconnaissance aircraft designated the D-2A, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Pratt & Whitney R-2800
The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp is a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial aircraft engine with a displacement of 2,804 in³ , and is part of the long-lived Wasp family....

-49 engines. The aircraft was constructed using the Duramold process. The prototype was brought to Harper's Dry Lake California in great secrecy in 1943 and first flew on June 20th of that year. In November 1944, the hangar containing the D-2A was hit by lightning and the aircraft was destroyed. The design of the D-2 led to the Hughes XF-11. The XF-11 was an all-metal, two place reconnaissance aircraft, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-31 engines, each driving a set of contra-rotation propellers
Contra-rotating propellers
Aircraft equipped with contra-rotating propellers, also referred to as coaxial contra-rotating propellers, apply the maximum power of usually a single piston or turboprop engine to drive two propellers in contra-rotation...

.

Near-fatal crash of the XF-11

Hughes was involved in a near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, while piloting the experimental U.S. Army Air Force reconnaissance aircraft, the XF-11, over Los Angeles. An oil leak caused one of the contra-rotating propellers
Contra-rotating propellers
Aircraft equipped with contra-rotating propellers, also referred to as coaxial contra-rotating propellers, apply the maximum power of usually a single piston or turboprop engine to drive two propellers in contra-rotation...

 to reverse pitch, causing the aircraft to yaw sharply. Hughes tried to save the craft by landing it at the Los Angeles Country Club
Los Angeles Country Club
The Los Angeles Country Club is a golf and country club in Los Angeles, California.- History :In the fall of 1897, a group of Los Angelenos organized a voluntary association to further the cause of one of Southern California's newest sports...

 golf course, but just seconds before he could reach his attempted destination, the XF-11 started to drop dramatically and crashed in the Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together...

 neighborhood surrounding the country club.

When the XF-11 finally came to a halt after destroying three houses, the fuel tanks exploded, setting fire to the aircraft and a nearby home at 808 North Whittier Drive, owned by Lt Col. Charles E. Meyer. Hughes managed to pull himself out of the flaming wreckage but lay beside the aircraft until he was rescued by Marine Master Sergeant William L. Durkin
William L. Durkin
William Lloyd Durkin was a United States Marine master sergeant who was noted for rescuing Howard Hughes when the aviation pioneer's XF-11 reconnaissance plane crashed on July 7, 1946.-Personal life:...

, who happened to be in the area visiting friends. Hughes sustained significant injuries in the crash, including a crushed collar bone, multiple cracked ribs, crushed chest with collapsed left lung, shifting his heart to the right side of the chest cavity, and numerous third-degree burns
Burn (injury)
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns affect only the skin . Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured...

. Hughes sent a check to the Marine weekly for the remainder of his life as a sign of gratitude.

However, Hughes was proud that his mind was still working. As he lay in his hospital bed, he decided that he did not like the bed's design. He called in plant engineers to design a "tailor-made" bed, equipped with hot and cold running water, built in six sections, and operated by 30 electric motors, with push-button adjustments.

Many attribute his long-term addiction to opiates
Opioid
An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract...

 to his use of codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

 as a painkiller during his convalescence. The trademark mustache he wore afterward was used to hide a scar on his upper lip resulting from the accident.

Near-fatal crash of the Sikorsky S-43

In the spring of 1943 Hughes spent nearly a month in Las Vegas, test flying his Sikorsky S-43
Sikorsky S-43
-External links:* - Howard Hughes Sikorsky S-43...

 amphibian aircraft, practicing touch and go landings on Lake Mead
Lake Mead
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River about southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it extends behind the dam, holding approximately of water.-History:The lake was...

 in preparation for flying the Spruce Goose. The weather conditions at the lake during the day were ideal and he enjoyed Las Vegas at night. On May 17, 1943 Hughes flew the Sikorsky from California carrying two CAA aviation inspectors, two of his employees and actress Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner
Ava Lavinia Gardner was an American actress.She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers . She became one of Hollywood's leading actresses, considered one of the most beautiful women of her day...

. Hughes dropped Gardener off in Las Vegas and proceeded to Lake Mead to conduct qualifying tests in the S-43. The test flight did not go well. The Sikorsky crashed killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Hughes employee Richard Felt. Hughes suffered a severe gash on the top of his head when he hit the upper control panel and had to be rescued by one of the others on board. Hughes paid divers $100,000 to raise the aircraft and later spent over $500,000 restoring the aircraft.

H-4 Hercules

The Hughes H-4 Hercules was originally contracted by the U.S. government for use during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 to transport troops and equipment across the Atlantic as an alternative to sea-going troop transport ships that were vulnerable to German U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s. However the aircraft was not completed until after the end of World War II. The concept for the Hercules was originally conceived by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser
Henry J. Kaiser
Henry John Kaiser was an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. He established the Kaiser Shipyard which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel. Kaiser organized Kaiser Permanente health care...

, who teamed with Hughes to build the aircraft.

The Hercules was the world's largest flying boat, the largest aircraft made from wood, and, at 319 in 11 in (97.51 m), had the longest wingspan
Wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

 of any aircraft (the next largest wingspan is about 30 ft (9 m) shorter). (The Hercules is no longer the longest or heaviest aircraft ever built; both of those titles are currently held by the Antonov An-225
Antonov An-225
The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world's heaviest aircraft. The design, built in order to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful An-124 Ruslan...

).

The Hercules flew only once for one mile (1.6 km), and 70 feet (21m) above the water, with Hughes at the controls, on November 2, 1947.

The Hercules was nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" by critics, but was actually made largely from birch
Birch
Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

 (not from spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

), rather than of aluminum, because the contract required the aircraft to be built of "non-strategic materials." It was built in Hughes's Westchester, California facility. Howard Hughes was summoned to testify before the Senate War Investigating Committee
Senate War Investigating Committee
The Senate War Investigating Committee was formed by R. Owen Brewster in 1947 to investigate contracts delivered to Hughes Aircraft for the Hughes XF-11 and Hughes H-4 Hercules...

 to explain why the aircraft had not been delivered to the United States Army Air Forces during the war, but the committee disbanded without releasing a final report. The aircraft was moved to McMinnville
McMinnville, Oregon
McMinnville is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, it was named by its founder, William T. Newby , an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, for his hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee...

, Oregon, where it is now part of the Evergreen Aviation Museum
Evergreen Aviation Museum
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is an aviation museum which displays a number of military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft, most notably, the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose". The museum is located in McMinnville, Oregon, across the street from the headquarters of Evergreen...

.

Hughes Aircraft

Hughes Aircraft Company, a division of Hughes Tool Company, was originally founded by Hughes in 1932, in a rented corner of a Lockheed Aircraft Corporation hangar in Burbank, California, to build the H-1 racer. During and after World War II, Hughes fashioned his company into a major defense contractor. The Hughes Helicopters
Hughes Helicopters
Hughes Helicopters was a major manufacturer of military and civil helicopters from the 1950s to the 1980s.The company began in 1947, as a unit of Hughes Aircraft, then was part of the Hughes Tool Company after 1955. It became the Hughes Helicopter Division, Summa Corporation in 1972, and was...

 division started in 1947 when helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 manufacturer Kellett sold their latest design to Hughes for production.

In 1948, Hughes created a new division of the company, the Hughes Aerospace Group. The Hughes Space and Communications Group and the Hughes Space Systems Division were later spun off in 1948 to form their own divisions and ultimately became the Hughes Space and Communications Company in 1961. In 1953, Howard Hughes gave all his stock in the Hughes Aircraft Company to the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Institute, thereby turning the aerospace and defense contractor into a tax-exempt charitable organization. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for US$5.2 billion. In 1997, General Motors sold Hughes Aircraft to Raytheon and in 2000, sold Hughes Space & Communications to Boeing. A combination of Boeing, GM and Raytheon acquired the Hughes Research Laboratories
Hughes Research Laboratories
HRL Laboratories , was the research arm of the Hughes Aircraft Company. Its dedicated research center was established in 1960 in Malibu...

.

Airlines

In 1939, at the urging of Jack Frye, president of TWA
Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways on intercontinental routes from 1946...

, Hughes quietly purchased a majority share of TWA stock for nearly US$7 million and took control of the airline. Upon assuming ownership, Hughes was prohibited by federal law from building his own aircraft. Seeking an aircraft that would perform better than TWA's fleet of Boeing 307 Stratoliner
Boeing 307
The Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner was the first commercial transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin. This feature allowed the plane to cruise at an altitude of 20,000 ft , well above weather disturbances. The pressure differential was 2.5 psi , so at 14,700 ft the cabin altitude...

s, Hughes approached Boeing's competitor, Lockheed
Lockheed Corporation
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

. Hughes had a good relationship with Lockheed since they had built the aircraft he used in his record flight around the world in 1938. Lockheed agreed to Hughes's request that the new aircraft be built in secrecy. The result was the revolutionary Constellation
Lockheed Constellation
The Lockheed Constellation was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, USA, facility. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in numerous models, all distinguished by a...

 and TWA purchased the first 40 of the new airliners off the production line.

In 1956, Hughes placed an order for 63 Convair 880
Convair 880
The Convair 880 was a narrow-body jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics. It was designed to compete with the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 by being smaller and faster, a niche that failed to create demand...

s for TWA at a cost of US$400 million. Although Hughes was extremely wealthy at this time, outside creditors demanded that Hughes relinquish control of TWA in return for providing the money. In 1960, Hughes was ultimately forced out of TWA, although he owned 78% of the company and battled to regain control.

Before Hughes' removal, the TWA jet financing issue precipitated the end of Hughes' relationship with Noah Dietrich. Dietrich claimed Hughes developed a plan by which Hughes Tool Company profits were to be inflated in order to sell the company for a windfall that would pay the bills for the 880s. Dietrich agreed to go to Texas to implement the plan on the condition that Hughes agreed to a capital gains arrangement he had long promised Dietrich. When Hughes balked, Dietrich resigned immediately. "Noah," Dietrich quoted Hughes as replying, "I cannot exist without you!" Dietrich stood firm and eventually had to sue to retrieve personal possessions from his office after Hughes ordered it locked.

In 1966, Hughes was forced by a U.S. federal court to sell his shares in TWA because of concerns over conflict of interest between his ownership of both TWA and Hughes Aircraft. The sale of his TWA shares netted him a profit of US$547 million. During the 1970s, Hughes went back into the airline business, buying the airline Air West and renaming it Hughes Airwest
Hughes Airwest
Hughes Airwest was an airline that was backed by Howard Hughes. Hughes Airwest flew routes around the western United States and to certain points in Mexico and Canada. The airline was purchased by Republic Airlines on October 1, 1980...

.

RKO

In 1948, Hughes gained control of RKO, a struggling major Hollywood studio, by acquiring 25 percent of the outstanding stock from Floyd Odlum
Floyd Odlum
Floyd Bostwick Odlum was a wealthy lawyer and industrialist. He has been described as "possibly the only man in the United States who made a great fortune out of the Depression"...

's Atlas Corporation
Atlas Corporation
The Atlas Corporation, was formed in 1928, from a merger of the United Corporation, an investment firm started in 1923 with $40,000, with Atlas Utilities and Investors Ltd. The corporation specialized in capital formation and management. In 1929, Atlas was a $12,000,000 investment trust...

. Within weeks of taking control, he dismissed three-quarters of the work force and production was shut down for six months in 1949 while he undertook the investigation of the politics of all remaining studio employees. Completed pictures would be sent back for re-shooting if he felt his star (especially female) was not properly presented, or if a film's anti-communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

 politics were not sufficiently clear. In 1952, an abortive sale to a Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

-based group with no experience in the industry disrupted studio operations even further.

Hughes sold the RKO theaters in 1953 as settlement of the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 US 131 was a landmark United States Supreme Court anti-trust case that decided the fate of movie studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would...

antitrust
Antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 case. With the sale of the profitable theaters, the shaky status of the film studio became increasingly apparent. A steady stream of lawsuits from RKO's minority shareholders, charging him with financial misconduct and corporate mismanagement, became an increasing nuisance, especially because Hughes wanted to focus on his aircraft-manufacturing and TWA holdings during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 years. Eager to be rid of the distraction, Hughes offered to buy out all other stockholders.

By the end of 1954, at a cost of nearly US$24 million, he had gained near total control of RKO, becoming the closest thing to a sole owner of a Hollywood studio seen in three decades. Six months later, Hughes sold the studio to the General Tire and Rubber Company for US$25 million. Hughes retained the rights to pictures he had personally produced, including those made at RKO. He also retained Jane Russell's contract. For Howard Hughes, this was the virtual end of his 25-year involvement in motion pictures; though he had all but destroyed a major Hollywood studio, his reputation as a financial wizard emerged unscathed. He reportedly walked away from RKO having made US$6.5 million in personal profit.

General Tire was interested mainly in exploiting the value of the RKO library for television programming, though it made some attempts to continue producing films. After a year and a half of mixed success, General Tire shut down film production at RKO for good at the end of January 1957. The studio lots in Hollywood and Culver City were sold to Desilu Productions
Desilu Productions
Desilu Productions was a Los Angeles, California-based company jointly owned by actors Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, who were married to each other from 1940 to 1960....

 later that year for US$6.15 million.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

In 1953, Hughes launched the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

 in Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase (CDP), Maryland
Chevy Chase is a census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. The population was 9,381 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Chevy Chase is located at ....

, Maryland, formed with the express goal of basic biomedical research
Biomedical research
Biomedical research , in general simply known as medical research, is the basic research, applied research, or translational research conducted to aid and support the body of knowledge in the field of medicine...

, including trying to understand, in Hughes' words, the "genesis of life itself." Hughes' first will, which he signed in 1925 at the age of 19, stipulated that a portion of his estate should be used to create a medical institute bearing his name. When a major battle with the IRS loomed ahead, Hughes gave all his stock in the Hughes Aircraft Company to the institute, thereby turning the aerospace and defense contractor into a for-profit entity of a fully tax-exempt charity. Hughes' internist, Dr. Verne Mason
Verne Mason
Verne Rheem Mason was an eminent internist and associate of Howard Hughes. Mason was chairman of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's medical advisory committee.-Early years:...

, who treated Hughes after his 1946 plane crash, was chairman of the institute's medical advisory committee. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's new board of trustees sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for US$5.2 billion, allowing the institute to grow dramatically.

The deal was the topic of a protracted legal battle between Hughes and the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

, which Hughes ultimately won. After his death in 1976, many thought that the balance of Hughes' estate would go to the institute, although it was ultimately divided among his cousins and other heirs, given the lack of a will to the contrary. The HHMI was the 4th largest private organization as of 2007 and the largest devoted to biological and medical research, with an endowment
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

 of US$16.3 billion as of June 2007.

Nixon scandal

Shortly before the 1960 Presidential election, Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 was harmed by revelations of a US$205,000 loan from Hughes to Nixon's brother Donald
Donald Nixon
Francis Donald Nixon was a brother of United States President, Richard Nixon.He was the third of five children:*Harold Nixon *Richard Nixon *Donald Nixon...

.

In late 1971, Donald Nixon was collecting intelligence for his brother in preparation for the upcoming presidential election. One of Donald's sources was John H. Meier
John H. Meier
John H. Meier is an American financier and business consultant now living in Vancouver, Canada. He is noted for working as a business adviser for Howard Hughes and for his behind-the-scenes involvement in events that precipitated President Richard M. Nixon's resignation...

, a former business adviser of Hughes who had also worked with Democratic National Chairman Larry O'Brien
Larry O'Brien
Lawrence Francis "Larry" O'Brien, Jr. was one of the United States Democratic Party's leading electoral strategists when, for more than two decades, he helped reshape American politics...

.

However, Meier conspired with then-Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, and others to feed disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 to the Nixon campaign. Meier told Donald that he was sure the Democrats would win the election because Larry O’Brien had a great deal of information on Richard Nixon’s illicit dealings with Hughes that had never been released; (O’Brien did not actually have any such information, but Meier wanted Nixon to think he did.) Donald told his brother that O’Brien was in possession of damaging information that could destroy his campaign.

Glomar Explorer

In 1972, Hughes was approached by the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 to help secretly recover Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 K-129 which had sunk near Hawaii four years earlier. Thus the Glomar Explorer, a special-purpose salvage vessel, was born. Hughes' involvement provided the CIA with a plausible cover story, having to do with civilian marine research at extreme depths and the mining of undersea manganese nodule
Manganese nodule
Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are rock concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. The core may be microscopically small and is sometimes completely transformed into manganese minerals by crystallization...

s. In the summer of 1974, Glomar Explorer attempted to raise the Soviet vessel.

However, during the recovery a mechanical failure in the ship's grapple caused half of the submarine to break off and fall to the ocean floor. This section is believed to have held many of the most sought-after items, including its code book and nuclear missiles. Two nuclear-tipped torpedoes and some cryptographic machines were recovered, along with the bodies of six Soviet submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

rs who were subsequently given formal burial at sea in a filmed ceremony. The operation, known as Project Azorian (but incorrectly referred to by the press as Project Jennifer), became public in February 1975 because burglars had obtained secret documents from Hughes' headquarters in June 1974. Though he lent his name to the operation, Hughes and his companies had no actual involvement in the project.

Mental illness and physical decline

As early as the 1930s, Hughes displayed signs of mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

, primarily obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive–compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry, by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety, or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions...

. Close friends reported that he was obsessed with the size of peas, one of his favorite foods, and used a special fork to sort them by size.

While directing The Outlaw, Hughes became fixated on a minor flaw in one of Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s....

's blouses, claiming that the fabric bunched up along a seam and gave the appearance of two nipples on each breast. He was reportedly so upset by the matter that he wrote a detailed memorandum to the crew on how to fix the problem. Richard Fleischer
Richard Fleischer
-Early life:Fleischer was born in Brooklyn, the son of Essie and animator/producer Max Fleischer. He started in motion pictures as director of animated shorts produced by his father including entries in the Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman series.His live-action film career began in 1942 at the RKO...

, who directed His Kind of Woman
His Kind of Woman
His Kind of Woman is a black-and-white 1951 film noir starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. The film features supporting roles by Vincent Price, Raymond Burr, and Charles McGraw...

with Hughes as executive producer, wrote at length in his autobiography about the difficulty of dealing with the tycoon. In his book, Just Tell Me When to Cry, Fleischer explained that Hughes was fixated on trivial details and was alternately indecisive and obstinate. He also revealed that Hughes' unpredictable mood swing
Mood swing
-Associated disorders:Mood swings are commonly associated with mood disorders including bipolar disorder and depression. In patients with cases of bipolar disorder, the patient experiences serious mood swings that last for days or even weeks...

s made him wonder if the film would ever be completed.

In December 1957, Hughes told his aides that he wanted to screen some movies at a film studio near his home. Hughes stayed in the studio's darkened screening room for more than four months, never leaving. He subsisted exclusively on chocolate bars, chicken, and milk, and relieved himself in the empty bottles and containers. He was surrounded by dozens of Kleenex
Kleenex
Kleenex is a brand name for a variety of toiletry paper-based products such as facial tissue, bathroom tissue, paper towels, and diapers. The name Kleenex is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Often used as a genericized trademark, especially in the United States, "Kleenex"...

 boxes, which he continuously stacked and re-arranged. He wrote detailed memos to his aides on yellow legal pads giving them explicit instructions not to look at him, to respond when spoken to, but otherwise not speak to him. Throughout this period, Hughes sat fixated in his chair, often naked, continuously watching movies, reel after reel, day after day. When he finally emerged in the spring of 1958, his hygiene was terrible, as he had not bathed or cut his hair and nails for weeks (although this may have been due to allodynia
Allodynia
Allodynia is a pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke pain. Temperature or physical stimuli can provoke allodynia, and it often occurs after injury to a site...

 - pain upon being touched). The Screening Room was located at Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive in Los Angeles; it was owned by Martin Nosseck and was called the "Martin Nosseck Projection Theatre" - Martin Nosseck was the full time projectionist for Hughes during that time.

After the screening room incident, Hughes moved into a bungalow
Bungalow
A bungalow is a type of house, with varying meanings across the world. Common features to many of these definitions include being detached, low-rise , and the use of verandahs...

 at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills Hotel
The Beverly Hills Hotel is a hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. It was opened on May 12, 1912 by Margaret J. Anderson and her son, Stanley S. Anderson, who had been managing the Hollywood Hotel. The original main building of The Beverly Hills Hotel was designed by Pasadena...

. He also rented out several other rooms for his aides, his wife, and his numerous girlfriends. His erratic behavior continued, however, as he would sit naked in his bedroom with a pink hotel napkin placed over his genitals, watching movies. In one year, he spent an estimated $11 million at the hotel.

In a bout of obsession with his home state, Hughes began purchasing all restaurant chains and four star hotels that had been founded within the borders of Texas. This included, if for only a short period, many unknown franchises currently out of business. Ownership of the restaurants was placed in the hands of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and all licenses were resold shortly after.

Another time, he became obsessed with the 1968 film Ice Station Zebra
Ice Station Zebra (film)
Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 action film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink, and W.R. Burnett is loosely based upon MacLean's 1963 novel of the same name. Both have...

and had it running on a continuous loop in his home. According to his aides, he watched it 150 times.

Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects, so that he could insulate himself from germs. He would also notice dust, stains or other imperfections on people's clothes and demand that they take care of it.

Once one of the most visible men in America, Hughes ultimately vanished from public view, although the tabloids continued to follow rumors of his behavior and whereabouts. He was reported to be terminally ill, mentally unstable or even dead.

As a result of numerous plane crashes, Hughes spent much of his later life in pain, eventually becoming severely addicted to codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, which he injected intramuscularly
Intramuscular injection
Intramuscular injection is the injection of a substance directly into a muscle. In medicine, it is one of several alternative methods for the administration of medications . It is used for particular forms of medication that are administered in small amounts...

. Hughes only had his hair cut and nails trimmed once a year. He may have been in severe chronic pain
Chronic pain
Chronic pain has several different meanings in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the initiation of pain, though some theorists and...

 from his extensive injuries, so much so that even the act of tooth brushing
Tooth brushing
Tooth brushing is the act of cleaning teeth with a toothbrush.Modern medical research has shown that brushing teeth properly can prevent cavities, and periodontal, or gum disease, which causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss. If teeth are not brushed correctly and frequently, it could lead...

 was painful, so he avoided it.

A retrospective
Retrospective
Retrospective generally means to take a look back at events that already have taken place. For example, the term is used in medicine, describing a look back at a patient's medical history or lifestyle.-Music:...

 case study
Case study
A case study is an intensive analysis of an individual unit stressing developmental factors in relation to context. The case study is common in social sciences and life sciences. Case studies may be descriptive or explanatory. The latter type is used to explore causation in order to find...

 suggests that Hughes' drug situation is more reminiscent of "pseudoaddiction" than true addiction; he suffered chronic pain and used narcotic medicine to control it. He did not inject it intravenously for immediate effect, rather, he injected it into muscle, where it would have more of an effect on pain, however it should be noted that codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, when injected intravenously, leads to life threatening symptoms and is not by any means a safe route of administration, under any circumstance. He did not use tobacco or other drugs, and rarely consumed alcohol. He used diazepam
Diazepam
Diazepam , first marketed as Valium by Hoffmann-La Roche is a benzodiazepine drug. Diazepam is also marketed in Australia as Antenex. It is commonly used for treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures including status epilepticus, muscle spasms , restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal,...

 to control the symptoms of withdrawal
Withdrawal
Withdrawal can refer to any sort of separation, but is most commonly used to describe the group of symptoms that occurs upon the abrupt discontinuation/separation or a decrease in dosage of the intake of medications, recreational drugs, and alcohol...

 when he had not taken enough codeine. At the time, the field of pain management
Pain management
Pain management is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with pain. The typical pain management team includes medical practitioners, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists,...

 was small and there were few options for long-term pain control. As codeine is a relatively weak narcotic, his pain was probably not controlled effectively.

Toward the end of his life, his inner circle was largely composed of Mormons, as they were the only people he considered trustworthy, even though Hughes himself was not a member of their church.

Las Vegas baron and recluse

The wealthy and aging Howard Hughes, accompanied by his entourage of personal aides, began moving from one hotel to another, always taking up residence in the top floor penthouse. During the last ten years of his life, from 1966 to 1976, Hughes lived in hotels in Beverly Hills, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Las Vegas
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

, Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 , 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas...

, Freeport
Freeport, Bahamas
Freeport is a city, district and free trade zone located on the island of Grand Bahama of the North-west Bahamas. In 1955, Wallace Groves, a Virginian financier with lumber interests in Grand Bahama, was granted 50,000 acres Freeport is a city, district and free trade zone located on the island of...

, Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Managua
Managua
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of population and geographic size. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Xolotlán or Lake Managua, the city was declared the national capital in...

, Acapulco
Acapulco
Acapulco is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history...

, and others.

On November 24, 1966 (Thanksgiving Day), Hughes arrived in Las Vegas by railroad car and moved into the Desert Inn
Desert Inn
The Desert Inn was a Paradise, Nevada, hotel/casino that operated from April 24, 1950, to August 28, 2000. Designed by noted New York architect Jac Lessman, it was the fifth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip. The property included an 18-hole golf course. Locals nicknamed the resort "The D.I."...

. Because he refused to leave the hotel and to avoid further conflicts with the owners of the hotel, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early 1967. The hotel's eighth floor became the nerve center of his empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became Hughes' personal residence. Between 1966 and 1968, Hughes bought several other hotels/casinos such as the Castaways, New Frontier
New Frontier Hotel and Casino
The New Frontier was a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip that had operated continuously since October 30, 1942. Actually located within the unincorporated suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA, it was the second resort that opened on the Las Vegas Strip. The Frontier closed its doors for...

, The Landmark Hotel and Casino
The Landmark Hotel and Casino
The Landmark Tower was a hotel/casino located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Landmark opened on July 1, 1969 and closed on August 8, 1990.The Landmark played host to famous celebrities such as Danny Thomas, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Freddy Fender's first appearance.With just 525 rooms, the...

, and the Sands
Sands Hotel
The Sands Hotel was a historic Las Vegas Strip hotel/casino that operated from December 15, 1952 to June 30, 1996. Designed by architect Wayne McAllister, the Sands was the seventh resort that opened on the Strip....

. He bought the small Silver Slipper
Silver Slipper
The Silver Slipper was a Las Vegas, Nevada casino that operated from September 1950 to November 29, 1988. The building was designed by architect Martin Stern, Jr....

 casino only to reposition the hotel's trademark neon silver slipper, visible from Hughes bedroom, which apparently had been keeping him up at night. An unusual incident marked an earlier Hughes connection to Las Vegas: during his 1954 engagement at the Last Frontier hotel
New Frontier Hotel and Casino
The New Frontier was a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip that had operated continuously since October 30, 1942. Actually located within the unincorporated suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA, it was the second resort that opened on the Las Vegas Strip. The Frontier closed its doors for...

 in Las Vegas, flamboyant entertainer Liberace
Liberace
Wladziu Valentino Liberace , best known simply as Liberace, was a famous American pianist and vocalist.In a career that spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, motion pictures, television and endorsements, Liberace became world-renowned...

 mistook Howard Hughes for his lighting director, instructing him to instantly bring up a blue light should he start to play Clair de lune. Hughes nodded in compliance. Then the hotel's entertainment director arrived to properly introduce Hughes to Liberace.

Hughes wanted to change the image of Las Vegas to something more glamorous than it was. As Hughes wrote in a memo to an aide, "I like to think of Las Vegas in terms of a well-dressed man in a dinner jacket and a beautifully jeweled and furred female getting out of an expensive car." Hughes bought several local television stations (including KLAS-TV
KLAS-TV
KLAS-TV, virtual channel 8 , is the CBS-affiliated television station serving the Las Vegas, Nevada market; it is owned and operated by Landmark Media Enterprises...

).

Hughes' considerable business holdings were overseen by a small panel unofficially dubbed "The Mormon Mafia" because of the many Latter-day Saints on the committee. In addition to supervising day-to-day business operations and Hughes' health, they also went to great pains to satisfy Hughes' every whim. Hughes once became fond of Baskin-Robbins
Baskin-Robbins
Baskin-Robbins is a global chain of ice cream parlors founded by Burt Baskin and Irvine Robbins in 1953, from the merging of their respective ice cream parlors, in Glendale, California. It claims to be the world's largest ice cream franchise, with more than 5,800 locations, 2,800 of which are...

' Banana Ripple ice cream, so his aides sought to secure a bulk shipment for him—only to discover that Baskin-Robbins had discontinued the flavor. They put in a request for the smallest amount the company could provide for a special order, 200 gallons (750 L
Litér
- External links :*...

), and had it shipped from Los Angeles. A few days after the order arrived, Hughes announced he was tired of Banana Ripple and wanted only Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free Banana Ripple ice cream to casino customers for a year. In a 1996 interview, ex-Howard Hughes communicator Robert Maheu
Robert Maheu
Robert Aime Maheu was an American businessman and lawyer, who worked for the FBI, CIA and as the chief executive of Nevada operations for the industrialist Howard Hughes.-Biography:...

 said "There is a rumor that there is still some Banana Ripple ice cream left in the freezer. It is most likely true."

As an owner of several major businesses in Las Vegas, Hughes wielded enormous political and economic influence in Nevada and elsewhere. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Hughes disapproved of the underground nuclear testing taking place at the Nevada Test Site
Nevada Test Site
The Nevada National Security Site , previously the Nevada Test Site , is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about northwest of the city of Las Vegas...

. Hughes was concerned about the risk posed by the residual nuclear radiation
Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation is radiation composed of particles that individually have sufficient energy to remove an electron from an atom or molecule. This ionization produces free radicals, which are atoms or molecules containing unpaired electrons...

 from the tests, and so attempted to halt the tests. When the tests finally went through despite Hughes' efforts, the detonations were powerful enough that the entire hotel in which he was staying trembled with the shock waves
Shock Waves
Shock Waves, , is a 1977 horror movie written and directed by Ken Wiederhorn...

. In two separate, last-ditch maneuvers, Hughes instructed his representatives to offer million-dollar bribes to both presidents Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 and Richard Nixon. His aides, however, never offered the bribes, instead reporting to Hughes that Johnson declined the offer and they were unable to contact Nixon.

In 1971, Jean Peters
Jean Peters
Jean Peters was an American actress, known as a star of 20th Century Fox in the late 1940s and early 1950s and as the second wife of Howard Hughes...

 filed for divorce; the two had not lived together for many years. Peters requested a lifetime alimony
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

 payment of US$70,000 a year, adjusted for inflation, and waived all claims to Hughes' estate. Hughes offered her a settlement of over a million dollars, but she declined it. Hughes did not insist upon a confidentiality agreement
Gag order
A gag order is an order, sometimes a legal order by a court or government, other times a private order by an employer or other institution, restricting information or comment from being made public.Gag orders are often used against participants involved in a lawsuit or criminal trial...

 from Peters as a condition of the divorce; aides reported that Hughes never spoke ill of her. She refused to discuss her life with Hughes and declined several lucrative offers from publishers and biographers. Peters would state only that she had not seen Hughes for several years before their divorce and had only dealt with him by phone.

Hughes was living in the Intercontinental Hotel near Lake Managua
Lake Managua
Lake Managua is a lake in Nicaragua. The Spanish name is Lago de Managua or Lago Xolotlán. At 1,042 km², it is approximately long and wide. Similarly to the name of Lake Nicaragua, its name was coined by the Spanish conquerors from "Mangue" and agua...

 in Nicaragua, seeking privacy and security, when a magnitude 6.5 earthquake damaged Managua
Managua
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of population and geographic size. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Xolotlán or Lake Managua, the city was declared the national capital in...

 in December 1972. As a precaution, Hughes moved to the Nicaraguan National Palace and stayed there as a guest of Anastasio Somoza Debayle
Anastasio Somoza Debayle
Anastasio Somoza Debayle was a Nicaraguan leader and officially the 73rd and 76th President of Nicaragua from 1 May 1967 to 1 May 1972 and from 1 December 1974 to 17 July 1979. As head of the National Guard, he was de facto ruler of the country from 1967 to 1979...

 before leaving for Florida on a private jet the following day. He subsequently moved into the Penthouse at the Xanadu Princess Resort on Grand Bahama Island, which he had recently purchased. He lived almost exclusively in the penthouse of the Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina
Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina
The Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina, also known as the Xanadu Princess Resort & Marina, is a resort and marina on the island of Grand Bahama in The Bahamas. Originally built in 1968, the resort was purchased by Howard Hughes in 1972 and was for several years the most celebrated resort in the Caribbean...

 for the last four years of his life. Hughes had spent a total of US$300 million on his many properties in Las Vegas.

Memoir hoax

In 1972, author Clifford Irving
Clifford Irving
Clifford Michael Irving is an American author of novels and works of nonfiction, but best known for using forged handwritten letters to convince his publisher into accepting a fake "autobiography" of reclusive businessman Howard Hughes in the early 1970s...

 created a media sensation when he claimed to have co-written an authorized autobiography of Hughes. Hughes was such a reclusive figure that he did not immediately publicly refute Irving's statement, leading many people to believe Irving's book was a genuine autobiography. Before the book's publication, however, Hughes finally denounced Irving in a teleconference and the entire project was eventually exposed as a hoax. Irving was later convicted of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 and spent 17 months in prison. In 1974, the Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 film F for Fake
F for Fake
F for Fake is the last major film completed by Orson Welles, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in the film. Initially released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger; de Hory's story serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering...

included a section dealing with the entire Hughes biography hoax. In 1977, The Hoax by Clifford Irving was published in England; it is the story of these events. The 2007 film The Hoax, starring Richard Gere
Richard Gere
Richard Tiffany Gere is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol...

, is based on these events.

Death

Hughes was reported to have died on April 5, 1976, at 1:27 pm on board an aircraft owned by Robert Graf and piloted by Jeff Abrams, en route from his penthouse at the "Acapulco Fairmont Princess Hotel" in Mexico to The Methodist Hospital
The Methodist Hospital
The Methodist Hospital is a hospital located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Established in 1919 as an outreach ministry of The United Methodist Church, Methodist is one of the most comprehensive teaching hospitals in the United States, with leading specialists in every field of...

 in Houston, Texas. Alternatively, other accounts indicate that he died in the flight from Freeport Grand Bahamas to Houston. His reclusive activities (and possibly his drug use) made him practically unrecognizable; his hair, beard, fingernails, and toenails were long (possibly due to allodynia
Allodynia
Allodynia is a pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke pain. Temperature or physical stimuli can provoke allodynia, and it often occurs after injury to a site...

 making him adverse to touch), his tall 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) frame now weighed barely 90 lb (41 kg), and the FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 had to resort to fingerprint
Fingerprint
A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human hand. A print from the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges...

s to identify the body. Howard Hughes' alias of "John T. Conover" was used upon the arrival of his body at a morgue in Houston on the day of his death. There, his body was received by Dr. Jack Titus.

A subsequent autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 noted kidney failure
Renal failure
Renal failure or kidney failure describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood...

 as the cause of death. Hughes was in extremely poor physical condition at the time of his death. He suffered from malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

. While his kidneys were damaged, his other internal organs, including his brain
Human brain
The human brain has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over three times larger than the brain of a typical mammal with an equivalent body size. Estimates for the number of neurons in the human brain range from 80 to 120 billion...

, were deemed perfectly healthy. X-ray
X-ray
X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

s revealed five broken-off hypodermic needle
Hypodermic needle
A hypodermic needle is a hollow needle commonly used with a syringe to inject substances into the body or extract fluids from it...

s in the flesh of his arms. To inject codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

 into his muscles, Hughes used glass syringe
Syringe
A syringe is a simple pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube , allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube...

s with metal needles that easily became detached. Phenacetin
Phenacetin
Phenacetin is an analgesic, once widely used; its use has declined because of its adverse effects.-History:Phenacetin was introduced in 1887, and was used principally as an analgesic, and was one of the first synthetic fever reducers to go on the market...

, used for chronic pain
Chronic pain
Chronic pain has several different meanings in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the initiation of pain, though some theorists and...

, may have been the cause of his kidney failure.

Hughes is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery
Glenwood Cemetery (Houston, Texas)
The Glenwood Cemetery is located at 2525 Washington Avenue in Houston, Texas. It was the first cemetery in Houston to be professionally designed and opened in 1871. The cemetery is situated between Washington Avenue on the North side and Memorial Drive on the South side, the latter overlooking...

 in Houston, Texas, next to his parents.

Retired Major General Mark Musick, USAF, claimed in a 2010 book based on his 7 years' investigation there is considerable evidence that Hughes did not die in 1976 but continued to live until 2001 under the identity of Verner "Nik" Nicely, married to Eva McLelland.

Estate

Approximately three weeks after Hughes' death, a handwritten will
Holographic will
A holographic will is a will and testament that has been entirely handwritten and signed by the testator. Normally, a will must be signed by witnesses attesting to the validity of the testator's signature and intent, but in many jurisdictions, holographic wills that have not been witnessed are...

 was found on the desk of an official of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The so-called "Mormon Will" gave US$1.56 billion to various charitable organizations (including US$625 million to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

); nearly US$470 million to the upper management in Hughes' companies and to his aides; US$156 million to first cousin William Lummis; and US$156 million split equally between his two ex-wives Ella Rice and Jean Peters
Jean Peters
Jean Peters was an American actress, known as a star of 20th Century Fox in the late 1940s and early 1950s and as the second wife of Howard Hughes...

.

A further US$156 million was endowed to a gas-station owner named Melvin Dummar
Melvin Dummar
Melvin Earl Dummar is a Utah man who earned national attentionwhen he claimed to have saved reclusive business tycoon Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967, and to have been awarded part of Hughes' vast estate. Dummar's story was adapted into the Academy Award winning film Melvin and Howard, in...

. Dummar told reporters that late one evening in December 1967, he found a disheveled and dirty man lying along U.S. Highway 95, 150 miles (241.4 km) north of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

. The man asked for a ride to Las Vegas. Dropping him off at the Sands Hotel
Sands Hotel
The Sands Hotel was a historic Las Vegas Strip hotel/casino that operated from December 15, 1952 to June 30, 1996. Designed by architect Wayne McAllister, the Sands was the seventh resort that opened on the Strip....

, Dummar said the man told him he was Hughes. Dummar then claimed that days after Hughes's death, a "mysterious man" appeared at his gas station, leaving an envelope containing the will on his desk. Unsure if the will was genuine, and unsure of what to do, Dummar left the will at the LDS Church office. In a trial lasting seven months, the Mormon Will was eventually rejected by the Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 court in June 1978 as a forgery. The court declared that Hughes had died intestate
Intestacy
Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of their enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration; alternatively where such a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of...

.

Hughes' US$2.5 billion estate was eventually split in 1983 among 22 cousins, including William Lummis who serves as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dummar was largely discounted by the public as a phony and an opportunist. Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme
Robert Jonathan Demme is an American filmmaker, producer and screenwriter. Best known for directing The Silence of the Lambs, which won him the Academy Award for Best Director, he has also directed the acclaimed movies Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married, the Talking Heads concert movie Stop...

's film Melvin and Howard
Melvin and Howard
Melvin and Howard is a 1980 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Demme. The screenplay by Bo Goldman was inspired by real-life Utah service station owner Melvin Dummar, who was listed as the beneficiary of USD$156 million in a will allegedly handwritten by Howard Hughes that was...

(starring Jason Robards
Jason Robards
Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was an American actor on stage, and in film and television, and a winner of the Tony Award , two Academy Awards and the Emmy Award...

 and Paul Le Mat
Paul Le Mat
Paul Le Mat is an American actor who first came to prominence in the 1973 film American Graffiti, which won him the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actor.-Life:...

), was based on Dummar's tale.

The U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruled that Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

 was owned by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

, which sold it to General Motors in 1985 for US$5.2 billion. Suits brought by the states of California and Texas claiming they were owed inheritance tax
Inheritance tax
An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate of a person who has died...

 were both rejected by the court. In 1984, Hughes's estate paid an undisclosed amount to Terry Moore
Terry Moore (actress)
Helen Luella Koford , better known as Terry Moore, is an American actress. Terry Moore made her film debut at age 11 and grew up with all the icons of the Hollywood era that made Hollywood what it is today, also known as "The Golden Age of Hollywood". Moore is an Academy Award nominated actress...

, who claimed to have been secretly married to Hughes on a yacht in international waters
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

 off Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 in 1949 and never divorced. Although Moore never produced proof of a marriage, her book, The Beauty and the Billionaire, became a bestseller.

Awards

  • Congressional Gold Medal (presented August 7, 1939).

Popular culture

Howard Hughes has now emerged as one of the 20th century's most iconic business and aviation figures spawning a wide range of cultural references.
  • Howard Hughes flying boat maiden test run and flight, Parts 1 & 2. [soundrecording] (1947). ,
  • Willard Whyte, a billionaire from the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever
    Diamonds Are Forever (film)
    Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the Eon Productions James Bond series, and the sixth and final Eon Productions film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is based on Ian Fleming's 1956 novel of the same name, and is the second of four James Bond films...

    , is based on Howard Hughes. Hughes, a friend of producer Albert Broccoli, allowed his hotel and casino to be used in the filming.
  • The Amazing Howard Hughes
    The Amazing Howard Hughes
    The Amazing Howard Hughes is a 1977 television movie about American aviation pioneer and filmmaker Howard Hughes, based on the book by Hughes' business partner Noah Dietrich. The film starred Tommy Lee Jones, Ed Flanders, and Tovah Feldshuh....

    (1977), directed by William A. Graham
    William A. Graham (director)
    William A. Graham is an American television and film director.Graham directed episodes of many TV series including The Fugitive, Twelve O'Clock High, The Big Valley, Batman and Ironside...

    . Tommy Lee Jones
    Tommy Lee Jones
    Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He has received three Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive....

     stars as Howard Hughes.
  • Melvin and Howard
    Melvin and Howard
    Melvin and Howard is a 1980 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Demme. The screenplay by Bo Goldman was inspired by real-life Utah service station owner Melvin Dummar, who was listed as the beneficiary of USD$156 million in a will allegedly handwritten by Howard Hughes that was...

    (1980), directed by Jonathan Demme
    Jonathan Demme
    Robert Jonathan Demme is an American filmmaker, producer and screenwriter. Best known for directing The Silence of the Lambs, which won him the Academy Award for Best Director, he has also directed the acclaimed movies Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married, the Talking Heads concert movie Stop...

     and starring Jason Robards
    Jason Robards
    Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was an American actor on stage, and in film and television, and a winner of the Tony Award , two Academy Awards and the Emmy Award...

     (a distant cousin) as Howard Hughes and Paul Le Mat
    Paul Le Mat
    Paul Le Mat is an American actor who first came to prominence in the 1973 film American Graffiti, which won him the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actor.-Life:...

     as Melvin Dummar. The film won Academy Awards
    Academy Awards
    An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

     for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress
    Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

     (Mary Steenburgen
    Mary Steenburgen
    Mary Nell Steenburgen is an American actress. She is best known for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's Melvin and Howard, which earned her an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.-Early life:...

    ). The film focuses on Melvin Dummar's claims of meeting Hughes in the Nevada desert and subsequent estate battles over his inclusion in Hughes's will. Critic Pauline Kael
    Pauline Kael
    Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic....

     called the film "an almost flawless act of sympathetic imagination."
  • Hughes was portrayed by Terry O'Quinn
    Terry O'Quinn
    Terry O'Quinn is an American actor, most famous for playing John Locke on the TV series Lost. He made his debut in a 1980 television movie called F.D.R.: The Last Year. Since then, O'Quinn has had minor supporting roles in films and TV movies such as Young Guns, All the Right Moves, Silver Bullet,...

     in Disney's The Rocketeer
    The Rocketeer (film)
    The Rocketeer is a 1991 period superhero adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the character of the same name created by comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens. Directed by Joe Johnston, the film stars Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino...

    (1991), substituting for the "mystery inventor" (Doc Savage
    Doc Savage
    Doc Savage is a fictional character originally published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L...

    ) in the original comic book version.
  • Before The Aviator (2004), there were several attempts to create a biopic based on the life of Hughes. For years, director-actor Warren Beatty
    Warren Beatty
    Warren Beatty born March 30, 1937) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director. He has received a total of fourteen Academy Award nominations, winning one for Best Director in 1982. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards including the Cecil B. DeMille Award.-Early life and...

     wanted to play Hughes and direct a big-screen film of the mogul. It was to be released alongside Beatty's film Reds, but due to the lack of the right script, the project was abandoned. In the 1990s, producers with Touchstone Pictures
    Touchstone Pictures
    Touchstone Pictures is an American film production label and is one of several film labels of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. Established in 1984, its releases typically feature more mature themes and darker tones than those that are released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner.Touchstone...

     wanted to do it with John Malkovich
    John Malkovich
    John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, producer, director and fashion designer with his label Technobohemian. Over the last 25 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award...

    , Edward Norton
    Edward Norton
    Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

    , or Johnny Depp
    Johnny Depp
    John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

     as Hughes, but, due to climbing costs, that venture was abandoned. Castle Rock Entertainment
    Castle Rock Entertainment
    Castle Rock Entertainment is a film and television production company founded in 1987 by Martin Shafer, director Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Glenn Padnick and Alan Horn. It is a subsidiary of Warner Bros...

     also tried to develop a biopic called Mr. Hughes with Jim Carrey
    Jim Carrey
    James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He has received two Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated on four occasions. Carrey began comedy in 1979, performing at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, Ontario...

     starring and with Christopher Nolan
    Christopher Nolan
    Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

     directing and re-writing a script originated by David Koepp
    David Koepp
    -Career:As a writer, Koepp has worked on such blockbuster Hollywood films as Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, and Spider-Man. Koepp had a cameo as the "Unlucky Bastard" in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in which he was serving as Writer and Second Unit Director.His work as a director has not had...

     and Brian De Palma
    Brian De Palma
    Brian Russell De Palma is an American film director and writer. In a career spanning over 40 years, he is probably best known for his suspense and crime thriller films, including such box office successes as the horror film Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission:...

    . When The Aviator began production, the idea was scrapped, and Nolan went on to direct Batman Begins
    Batman Begins
    Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

    . Some of the details of Hughes as an adult were confirmed in A. Scott Berg's memoir of Katharine Hepburn (Kate Remembered).
  • The Aviator (2004), directed by Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

     and starring Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

     as Hughes. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards
    Academy Awards
    An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

    , and winning five, the acclaimed film focuses primarily on Hughes' achievements in aviation and in the movies and on the increasing handicaps imposed on him by his obsessive–compulsive behavior, and ends shortly after the successful flight of the Hercules in 1947.
  • Iron Man
    Iron Man (film)
    Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron...

    , directed by Jon Favreau
    Jon Favreau
    Jonathan Kolia "Jon" Favreau is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and comedian. As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Rudy, Swingers , Very Bad Things, and The Break-Up. His notable directorial efforts include Elf, Iron Man and its sequel, and Cowboys & Aliens...

     is an adaptation of a comic book about a wealthy weapons manufacturer, Tony Stark. According to creator Stan Lee
    Stan Lee
    Stan Lee is an American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics....

    , the character's personality and playboy lifestyle were inspired by Hughes, explaining, "Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a multi-billionaire, a ladies' man and finally a nutcase".
  • Howard Hughes appears as a character in Death and Honor (Putnam, 2008), W.E.B. Griffin's fictional account of the clandestine espionage activities of agents of the United States Office of Strategic Services (the "OSS") during World War II. In the novel, Hughes is portrayed as an unofficial intelligence community insider.
  • Howard Hughes Documentary, broadcast in 1992 as an episode of the Time Machine documentary series, was introduced by Peter Graves
    Peter Graves
    Peter Graves may refer to:* Peter Graves , American actor* Peter Graves, 8th Baron Graves , English actor and peer* Peter Graves , English cricketer...

    , later released by A&E Home Video.
  • Howard Hughes: The Real Aviator documentary was broadcast in 2004, and went on to win the "Grand Festival Award" for Best Documentary at the 2004 Berkeley Video & Film Festival.
  • The American Aviator: The Howard Hughes Story. was broadcast in 2006 on the "Biography Channel." It was later released to home media as a DVD with a copy of the full length film The Outlaw
    The Outlaw
    The Outlaw is a 1943 American Western film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jane Russell. The supporting cast includes Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston. Hughes also produced the film, while Howard Hawks served as an uncredited co-director...

    starring Jane Russell
    Jane Russell
    Jane Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s....

    .
  • In L.A. Noire
    L.A. Noire
    L.A. Noire is a 2011 crime video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows. It was released as a 3-disc game for the Xbox 360 console, which prompts the player to switch to another disc at certain points in the...

    , Hughes makes an appearance presenting his Hercules H-4 aircraft in the opening introduction of the game.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas
    Fallout: New Vegas
    Fallout: New Vegas is a first person action role-playing video game in the Fallout series developed by Obsidian Entertainment, and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game is based in a post-apocalyptic environment in and around Las Vegas, Nevada...

    , one of the major characters, Mr. House is based upon Hughes' personality and achievements as a prodigal engineer.


Additional resources

  • Photograph collections related to Hughes: Houston Public Library; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum; Charles Barton, Inc.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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