Howard Hughes

Aviator / Business Personality
Date Of Birth:
24 December 1905
Date Of Death:
5 April 1976
Place Of Birth:
Houston, Texas
Best Known As:
The 20th century's famous billionaire aviator, businessman and recluse
Howard Hughes is most famous for the last years of his life, when his mind faded and he lived the life of a wealthy, paranoid recluse. But earlier he had been a dashing and innovative businessman and aviator. Inheriting the Hughes Tool Company at age 19, Hughes became by turns a Hollywood movie producer, aircraft inventor, mining mogul, casino owner and ladies' man. (He dated Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn among many other starlets.) An avid and daring pilot, Hughes set a handful of aviation world records, including one for a 1938 flight around the world in just over 91 hours. In the 1960s his business dealings paid off handsomely and his wealth reached one billion dollars, a staggering amount for the era. By by then, certain personality quirks that appeared in the 1950s had began to dominate Hughes's personality, and he grew increasingly unbalanced. He dropped from public view and became famous for his wealth and his mysterious hidden ways, surfacing via telephone in 1972 to say that a biography written by Clifford Irving was a hoax. The gossip and confusion about his whereabouts and lifestyle continued after his 1976 death, when various parties contested his will amid much-publicized legal wrangling.
Extra Credit

Leonardo DiCaprio played Howard Hughes in the 2004 biopic The Aviator, directed by Martin Scorsese… The 1980 movie Melvin and Howard told the story of Melvin Dummar, a small-time gas station owner who claimed he was heir to Howard Hughes’s fortune; actor Jason Robards played Hughes… Among the movies produced by Howard Hughes was Scarface (1932), based loosely on the life of Al Capone and forerunner of the 1983 film Scarface… Howard Hughes’s most famous airplane was the Spruce Goose, a giant eight-motored flying boat made of wood. The plane flew only once, in 1947, and is now on display at an aviation museum in McMinnville, Oregon… Howard Hughes was 6’4″ tall, according to Wikipedia.

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