Howard Hughes
aviator, engineer, industrialist, and film producer
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world. As a maverick film producer, Hughes gained prominence in Hollywood from the late 1920s, making big-budget and often, controversial films like The Racket (1928), Hell's Angels (1930), Scarface (1932) and The Outlaw (1943).
Biography
Howard Hughes's personal information overview.
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Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Howard Hughes
Clara Bow
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Carole Lombard
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Carole Landis
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Barbara Payton
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Bette Davis
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Frances Drake
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Billie Dove
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Evelyn Brent
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Errol Flynn
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Ava Gardner
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Katharine Hepburn
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Ella Rice
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Jean Peters
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Terry Moore
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Ann Blyth
Married
Ida Lupino
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June Lang
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Joan Fontaine
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Zsa Zsa Gabor
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Kathryn Grayson
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Tallulah Bankhead
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Joan Crawford
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Linn Thomas
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Barbara Pepper
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Marie Prevost
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Mae Clarke
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Olivia de Havilland
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Madge Bellamy
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Yvonne De Carlo
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Barbara Stanwyck
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Faith Domergue
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Phyllis Applegate
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Virginia Bruce
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Renée Adorée
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Shelley Winters
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Lana Turner
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Barbara
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Betty Furness
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Pat Sheehan
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Carla Balenda
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Pat Williams
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Margaret Sheridan
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Mona Freeman
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Loretta Young
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Jean Simmons
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Joan Blondell
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Marguerite Churchill
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Mitzi Gaynor
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Pola Negri
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Richard Cromwell
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Peggy Cummins
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Myrna Dell
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Mary Howard de Liagre
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Constance Bennett
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Corinne Griffith
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Jean Harlow
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Dorothy Jordan
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Lilian Bond
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Marian Marsh
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Gwili Andre
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Ginger Rogers
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Merle Oberon
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Blanche Sweet
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Nancy Carroll
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Phyllis Brooks
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Helen Gilbert
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Marguerite Chapman
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Norma Shearer
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Andrea Leeds
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Gloria Vanderbilt
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Brenda Frazier
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Jane Greer
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Ann Miller
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Linda Darnell
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Virginia Mayo
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Faye Emerson
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Mamie Van Doren
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Mala Powers
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Arlene Dahl
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Anita Ekberg
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Joi Lansing
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Susan Hayward
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June Kirby
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Joyce Taylor
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Cyd Charisse
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Debra Paget
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Gene Tierney
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Georgia Carroll
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News
News abour Howard Hughes from around the web
Internet Ruffles Pricey Scholarly Journals
NYTimes - over 5 years
LONDON — After decades of healthy profits, the scholarly publishing industry now finds itself in the throes of a revolt led by the most unlikely campus revolutionaries: the librarians. Universities from Britain to California are refusing to renew their expensive subscriptions, turning instead to “open access” publishing, an
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South Street Seaport Fish Market Cleans Up Good
NYTimes - over 5 years
WHEN Gary Fagin began renting in a dilapidated former sausage factory in the South Street Seaport area 25 years ago, fishmongers plied the cobblestone streets, carcasses of mackerel and cod were often underfoot, and the bar at Jeremy’s Ale House was packed at 8 o’clock in the morning. The Fulton Fish Market moved to Hunts Point in 2005.
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MOVIE REVIEW | 'RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES'; Decoding the Puzzling Messages of a Recluse
NYTimes - over 5 years
Unearthed secrets of an eccentric recluse can be fascinating, the darker and more perverse, the better. Consider Howard Hughes or the outsider artist Henry Darger, whose trove of writings and paintings, discovered posthumously in Chicago in 1973, set off years of speculation regarding his psychological history, which hasn't abated. With ''Resurrect
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Weho Man Killed Sunday in Westchester Crash - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
The crash, near Howard Hughes Parkway, was reported at 4:04 am, CHP Officer Ed Jacobs said. For unknown reasons, the driver, a 42-year-old man, allowed his black 1998 Volkswagen Beetle to leave the freeway, and it struck a concrete overpass pillar
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Evolution of the Glass Banger - Cardiac Cane
Google News - over 5 years
(Photo Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) Howard Hughes may be known for his film and aviation obsessions, but he was also a dedicated to the Detroit Red Wings. He was drawn to the red wings of flight. Mr. Hughes had a neurological disorder called
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Possible Bearish Engulfing Pattern Detected for Howard Hughes (NYSE:HHC) - Financial News Network Online
Google News - over 5 years
Analysts have spotted a possible bearish engulfing pattern in Howard Hughes (NYSE:HHC) based on the price action in the company's shares. Yesterday, Howard Hughes traded 129000 shares vs. average volume of 187000 shares per day
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Boeing's El Segundo satellite unit celebrates its 50th year - Daily Breeze
Google News - over 5 years
(Robert Casillas / Staff Photographer) In 1961, Howard Hughes converted an old Nash Rambler factory in El Segundo into a satellite production facility. If the brilliant and reclusive industrialist were alive today, he would see how his vision has
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Murray Stahl Adds Howard Hughes, Leucadia National and CBOE Holdings - GuruFocus.com
Google News - over 5 years
In his second quarter portfolio update, Stahl's biggest moves included adds to his positions in Howard Hughes (HHC), Leucadia National (LUK), and CBOE Holdings (CBOE). Stahl first purchased Howard Hughes in the first quarter of 2011, buying 1519489
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Researcher to present 'Boxes - The Secret Life of Howard Hughes' at Crossroads ... - Kansas City Star
Google News - over 5 years
OVERLAND PARK, KS – Crossroads Church will feature an exciting presentation called Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes on Sunday, September 4 beginning at noon. This is an incredible story with the ingredients of fabulous wealth, a reclusive man
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The Listings
NYTimes - over 5 years
Movies Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'Another Earth' (PG-13, 1:32) The director Mike Cahill and his star, the promising newcomer Brit Marling, wrote this moody, modest science-fiction film about
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Vertebrate Evolution Occurred in Genetically Distinct Epochs - Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Google News - over 5 years
New research by Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists has classified vertebrate evolution in relation to “genetic epochs,” periods of evolution marked by changes in specific sets, or kinds, of genes. “There's a fundamental question about how the
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Paid Notice: Deaths MEYERSON, DR
NYTimes - over 5 years
MEYERSON--Dr. Marion D. of San Francisco, California died peacefully at home surrounded by family on August 10, 2011. Daughter of the late Lillian and Sherwood Diamond, born on March 9, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. Education: BA Hunter College, NY, MA Brooklyn College, NY and a PhD. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Former Professor
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POSSESSED; Spelling Out How She Feels
NYTimes - over 5 years
IN Hollywood, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to do remakes of it. These days, that's pretty much everyone. The film industry is one in which collective amnesia is so profound that it's safe to conclude that half the reason you are only as good as your last picture is that no one can remember further back. ''It breaks my heart that
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Howard Hughes Turns To Profit In Q2 - Quick Facts - RTT News
Google News - over 5 years
(RTTNews) - The Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC: News ) reported second-quarter income attributable to common stockholders of $66.0 million or $0.22 per share, compared to a net loss of $28.0 million or $0.74 per share in the prior-year period
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Robert Ryan's Quiet Furies
NYTimes - over 5 years
BORN to play beautifully tortured, angry souls, the actor Robert Ryan was a familiar movie face for more than two decades in Hollywood's classical years, his studio ups and downs, independent detours and outlier adventures paralleling the arc of American cinema as it went from a national pastime to near collapse. A little prettier and he might have
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HOWD HUGH : The Howard Hughes Corporation Partners with The MacNaughton Group ... - 4-traders (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
The Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE: HHC) announced today it is partnering with The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group to evaluate the development of a luxury condominium tower at Ala Moana Center. "With their strong knowledge of the Hawaii market
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What's On Today
NYTimes - over 5 years
7 P.M. (SNY) RALPH KINER: 50 AMAZIN' YEARS Think about the Mets, and chances are you'll think about Mr. Kiner, the Hall of Fame slugger whose voice has been associated with the team since its inception in 1962. Now in his 50th season in the broadcast booth, Mr. Kiner (above, with an image from his playing days) discusses his career as an outfielder
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Howard Hughes
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1976
    Age 70
    The deal was the topic of a protracted legal battle between Hughes and the Internal Revenue Service, 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.
    More Details Hide Details The HHMI was the fourth largest private organization as of 2007 and the largest devoted to biological and medical research, with an endowment of $16.3 billion as of June 2007. In 1972, Hughes was approached by the CIA to help secretly recover Soviet submarine K-129, which had sunk near Hawaii four years earlier. The recovery plan used the special-purpose salvage vessel Glomar Explorer. 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 nodules. 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 submariners 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 after secret documents were released, obtained by burglars 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. The Glomar Explorer was eventually acquired by Transocean Inc., an offshore oil and gas drilling rig company.
    Hughes was reported to have died on April 5, 1976, at 1:27 p.m. on board an aircraft owned by Robert Graf and piloted by Jeff Abrams.
    More Details Hide Details He was en route from his penthouse at the Acapulco Fairmont Princess Hotel in Mexico to the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Other accounts indicate that he died on the flight from Freeport, Grand Bahama, to Houston. After receiving a call, his senior counsel, Frank P. Morse, ordered his staff to get his body on a plane and return him to the United States. It was common that foreign countries would hold a corpse as ransom so that an estate could not be settled. Morse ordered the pilots to announce Hughes' death once they entered U.S. airspace. His reclusive activities (and possibly his drug use) made him practically unrecognizable. His hair, beard, fingernails, and toenails were long—his tall frame now weighed barely, and the FBI had to use fingerprints to conclusively identify the body. Howard Hughes' alias, John T. Conover, was used when his body arrived at a morgue in Houston on the day of his death. There, his body was received by Dr. Jack Titus.
  • 1974
    Age 68
    In 1974, the Orson Welles film F for Fake included a section on the Hughes biography hoax.
    More Details Hide Details In 1977, The Hoax by Clifford Irving was published in the United Kingdom, telling his story of these events. The 2006 film The Hoax, starring Richard Gere, is also based on these events.
  • 1972
    Age 66
    In 1972, author Clifford Irving caused a media sensation when he claimed he had co-written an authorized autobiography of Hughes.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes was so reclusive that he did not immediately publicly refute Irving's statement, leading many to believe the Irving book was genuine. However, before the book's publication Hughes finally denounced Irving in a teleconference and the entire project was eventually exposed as a hoax. Irving was later convicted of fraud and spent 17 months in prison.
    Hughes was living in the Intercontinental Hotel near Lake Managua in Nicaragua, seeking privacy and security, when a magnitude 6.5 earthquake damaged Managua in December 1972.
    More Details Hide Details As a precaution, Hughes moved to the Nicaraguan National Palace and stayed there as a guest of Anastasio Somoza Debayle 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 for the last four years of his life. Hughes had spent a total of $300 million on his many properties in Las Vegas.
  • 1971
    Age 65
    In late 1971, Donald Nixon was collecting intelligence for his brother in preparation for the upcoming presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details One of Donald's sources was John H. Meier, a former business adviser of Hughes who had also worked with Democratic National Committee Chair Larry O'Brien. Meier, in collaboration with former Vice President of the United States Hubert Humphrey and others, wanted to feed misinformation 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 Howard Hughes that had never been released; O'Brien didn't 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 Hughes information that could destroy his campaign. Terry Lenzner, who was the chief investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, speculates that it was Nixon's desire to know what O'Brien knew about Nixon's dealings with Hughes that may have partially motivated the Watergate break-in.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details According to Russell's autobiography, however, Hughes once tried to bed 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, after his failed attempts to seduce her, was quoted as saying "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 a severe learning disability, because of Tierney's being exposed to rubella during her pregnancy, Hughes saw to it that Daria received the best medical care and paid all expenses. In 1933, Hughes purchased unseen the Rover, a luxury steam yacht previously owned by British shipping magnate Lord Inchcape. "I have never seen the Rover but bought it on the blue prints, photographs and the reports of Lloyd's surveyors. My experience is that the English are the most honest race in the world." Hughes renamed the yacht Southern Cross and later sold her to Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren.
  • 1970
    Age 64
    In 1970, Jean Peters filed for divorce.
    More Details Hide Details The two had not lived together for many years. Peters requested a lifetime alimony payment of $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 on a confidentiality agreement 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.
  • 1966
    Age 60
    Between 1966 and 1968, he bought several other hotel-casinos—including the Castaways, New Frontier, the Landmark Hotel and Casino, and the Sands.
    More Details Hide Details He bought the small Silver Slipper casino just so he could have its trademark neon silver slipper moved. Visible from Hughes' bedroom, it apparently had kept him up at night.
    On November 24, 1966 (Thanksgiving Day), Hughes arrived in Las Vegas by railroad car and moved into the Desert Inn.
    More Details Hide Details Because he refused to leave the hotel, and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early 1967. The hotel's eighth floor became the nerve center of Hughes' empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became his personal residence.
    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. In the last ten years of his life, 1966 to 1976, Hughes lived in hotels in many cities—including Beverly Hills, Boston, Las Vegas, Nassau, Freeport, Vancouver, London, Managua, and Acapulco.
    More Details Hide Details While in London he started flying again and flew the HS748 and HS125 from Hatfield Aerodrome with Tony Blackman and looked over the wooden mockup-up of the HS146 which Hawker Siddeley were trying to sell to Hughes Air West.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1960
    Age 54
    Shortly before the 1960 Presidential election, Richard Nixon was alarmed when it was revealed that his brother, Donald, received a $205,000 loan from Hughes.
    More Details Hide Details It has long been speculated that Nixon's drive to learn what the Democrats were planning in 1972 was based in part on his belief that the Democrats knew about a later bribe that his friend Bebe Rebozo had received from Hughes after Nixon took office.
  • 1957
    Age 51
    On January 12, 1957, Hughes married actress Jean Peters. 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.
    More Details Hide Details Some 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. Such reports were confirmed by actor Max Showalter, who became a close friend of Peters while shooting 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.
  • FORTIES
  • 1954
    Age 48
    After Hughes left the Desert Inn, hotel employees discovered his drapes had not been opened in the nine years he lived there, and had rotted through. An unusual incident marked an earlier Hughes connection to Las Vegas: during his 1954 engagement at the Last Frontier hotel in Las Vegas, flamboyant entertainer Liberace mistook Howard Hughes for his lighting director, instructing him to instantly bring up a blue light should he start to play Clair de lune.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes nodded in compliance—but the hotel's entertainment director arrived and introduced Hughes to Liberace. Hughes wanted to change the image of Las Vegas to something more glamorous. 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). 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, led by Frank William Gay. 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' banana nut 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), and had it shipped from Los Angeles. A few days after the order arrived, Hughes announced he was tired of banana nut and wanted only chocolate marshmallow ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free banana nut ice cream to casino customers for a year. In a 1996 interview, ex–Howard Hughes communicator Robert Maheu said, "There is a rumor that there is still some banana nut ice cream left in the freezer.
  • 1953
    Age 47
    In 1953, Hughes launched the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Miami, Florida, and currently located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, formed with the expressed goal of basic biomedical research, including trying to understand, in Hughes' words, the "genesis of life itself," due to his lifelong interest in science and technology.
    More Details Hide Details 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, Verne Mason, who treated Hughes after his 1946 aircraft 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 $5.2 billion, allowing the institute to grow dramatically.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold Hughes Aircraft in 1985 to General Motors for $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, where it focused on advanced developments in microelectronics, information & systems sciences, materials, sensors, and photonics; their workspace spans from basic research to product delivery. It has particularly emphasized capabilities in high performance integrated circuits, high power lasers, antennas, networking, and smart materials.
    In 1953, Hughes was involved with a high profile lawsuit as part of the settlement of the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
    More Details Hide Details Antitrust Case. As a result of the hearings, the shaky status of RKO became increasingly apparent. A steady stream of lawsuits from RKO's minority shareholders had grown to be extremely annoying to Hughes. They had accused him with financial misconduct and corporate mismanagement. Since Hughes wanted to focus primarily on his aircraft manufacturing and TWA holdings during the Korean War years, Hughes offered to buy out all other stockholders in order to dispense with their distractions. He had gained near-total control of RKO by the end of 1954 at a cost of nearly $24 million, 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 $25 million. Hughes retained the rights to pictures that 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 the motion picture industry. However, his reputation as a financial wizard emerged unscathed. During that time period, RKO became known as the home of film noir classic productions thanks in part to the limited budgets required to make such films during Hughes' tenure. Hughes reportedly walked away from RKO having made $6.5 million in personal profit.
  • 1949
    Age 43
    In 1984, Hughes' estate paid an undisclosed amount to Terry Moore, who claimed she and Hughes had secretly married on a yacht in international waters off Mexico in 1949, and never divorced.
    More Details Hide Details Moore never produced proof of a marriage, but her book, The Beauty and the Billionaire, became a bestseller. The moving image collection of Howard Hughes is held at the Academy Film Archive. The collection consists of over 200 items including 35mm and 16mm elements of feature films, documentaries, and television programs made or accumulated by Hughes. 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.
  • 1948
    Age 42
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1948, Hughes created a new division of the company, the Hughes Aerospace Group.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1947
    Age 41
    The Hercules flew only once for one mile (1.6 km), and above the water, with Hughes at the controls, on November 2, 1947.
    More Details Hide Details
    The Hughes Helicopters division started in 1947 when helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold their latest design to Hughes for production.
    More Details Hide Details The company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor manufacturing numerous technology related products that include spacecraft vehicles, military aircraft, radar systems, electro-optical systems, the first working laser, aircraft computer systems, missile systems, ion-propulsion engines (for space travel), commercial satellites, and other electronics systems.
    In 1947, Howard Hughes was summoned to testify before the Senate War Investigating Committee to explain why the H-4 development had been so troubled, and why the F-11 had resulted in only two prototypes after $22 million spent. General Elliott Roosevelt and numerous other USAAF officers were also called to testify in hearings that transfixed the nation during August and again in November 1947.
    More Details Hide Details In a hotly disputed testimony over TWA's route awards and malfeasance in the defense acquisition process, Hughes turned the tables on his main interlocutor, Maine Senator Owen Brewster, and the hearings were widely interpreted as a Hughes victory. After display at the Long Beach, California harbor, the Hercules was moved to McMinnville, Oregon, where it is now part of the Evergreen Aviation Museum. 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.
  • 1946
    Age 40
    Hughes was involved in a near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, 1946, while performing the first flight of the prototype U.S. Army Air Forces reconnaissance aircraft, the XF-11, near Hughes airfield at Culver City, California.
    More Details Hide Details An oil leak caused one of the contra-rotating propellers to reverse pitch, causing the aircraft to yaw sharply and lose altitude rapidly. Hughes attempted to save the aircraft by landing it at the Los Angeles Country Club golf course, but just seconds before reaching the course, the XF-11 started to drop dramatically and crashed in the Beverly Hills 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 Sgt. William L. Durkin, 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. An oft-told story said that Hughes sent a check to the Marine weekly for the remainder of his life as a sign of gratitude. However, Durkin's daughter denied that he took any money for the rescue.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1943
    Age 37
    Acting on a recommendation of the president's son, Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, who had become friends with Hughes, in September 1943 the USAAF ordered 100 of a reconnaissance development of the D-2, known as the F-11.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes then attempted to get the military to pay for the development of the D-2. In November 1944, the hangar containing the D-2A was reportedly hit by lightning and the aircraft was destroyed. The D-2 design was abandoned, but led to the extremely controversial Hughes XF-11. The XF-11 was a large all-metal, two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-31 engines, each driving a set of contra-rotating propellers. Only the two prototypes were completed; the second one with a single propeller per side.
    On May 17, 1943, Hughes flew the Sikorsky from California carrying two CAA aviation inspectors, two of his employees and actress Ava Gardner.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes dropped Gardner 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 into Lake Mead, 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 more than $500,000 restoring the aircraft.
    In the spring of 1943 Hughes spent nearly a month in Las Vegas, test flying his Sikorsky S-43 amphibian aircraft, practicing touch-and-go landings on Lake Mead in preparation for flying the H-4 Hercules.
    More Details Hide Details The weather conditions at the lake during the day were ideal and he enjoyed Las Vegas at night.
  • 1941
    Age 35
    A 1941 affidavit birth certificate of Hughes that was signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and Estelle Boughton Sharp states that he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1939
    Age 33
    In 1939, at the urging of Jack Frye, president of Trans World Airlines (TWA), Hughes quietly purchased a majority share of TWA stock for nearly $7 million and took control of the airline.
    More Details Hide Details
    The Hughes D-2 was conceived in 1939 as a bomber with five crew members, powered by 42-cylinder Wright R-2160 Tornado engines.
    More Details Hide Details In the end it appeared as two-seat fighter-reconnaissance aircraft designated the D-2A, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-49 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 20 of that year.
  • 1938
    Age 32
    Hughes had a good relationship with Lockheed since they had built the aircraft he used in his record flight around the world in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details Lockheed agreed to Hughes and Frye's request that the new aircraft be built in secrecy. The result was the revolutionary Constellation and TWA purchased the first 40 of the new airliners off the production line. In 1956, Hughes placed an order for 63 Convair 880s for TWA at a cost of $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 would be inflated 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 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas - known at the time as Houston Municipal Airport - was renamed after Hughes, but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person.
    More Details Hide Details Originally from Mystic, Iowa, Albert I Lodwick provided excellent organizational skills as his flight operations manager which directly contributed to Hughes' record breaking flight. Hughes also had a role in the design and financing of both the Boeing 307 Stratoliner and Lockheed L-049 Constellation. He received many awards as an aviator, including the Harmon Trophy in 1936 and 1938, the Collier Trophy and the Bibesco Cup of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1938, the Octave Chanute Award 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, which was eventually mailed to him.
    On July 14, 1938, Hughes set another record by completing a flight around the world in just 91 hours (3 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes), beating the previous record set in 1933 by Wiley Post in a single engine Lockheed Vega by almost four days.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes returned home ahead of photographs of his flight. Taking off from New York City, Hughes continued to Paris, Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, Fairbanks, Minneapolis, then returning to New York City. For this flight he flew a Lockheed 14 Super Electra (NX18973, a twin-engine transport with a four-man crew) fitted with the latest radio and navigational equipment. Hughes wanted the flight to be a triumph of American aviation technology, illustrating that safe, long-distance air travel was possible. While he had previously been relatively obscure despite his wealth, being better known for dating Katharine Hepburn, New York City now gave Hughes a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes.
  • 1937
    Age 31
    A year and a half later, on January 19, 1937, flying the same H-1 Racer fitted with longer 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).
    More Details Hide Details His average ground speed over the flight was. 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 fighters such as the Mitsubishi Zero, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and the F8F Bearcat; although that has never been reliably confirmed. The H-1 Racer was donated to the Smithsonian in 1975 and is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
  • 1936
    Age 30
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes was certified as sober at the hospital he was taken to after the accident, but 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 and held overnight in jail until his attorney, Neil McCarthy, obtained a writ of habeas corpus 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' 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."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1935
    Age 29
    On September 13, 1935, Hughes, flying the H-1, set the landplane airspeed record of over his test course near Santa Ana, California (Giuseppe Motta reached 362 mph in 1929 and George Stainforth reached 407.5 mph in 1931, both in seaplanes).
    More Details Hide Details This was the last time in history that the world airspeed record was set in an aircraft built by a private individual.
  • 1929
    Age 23
    In 1929 Hughes' wife, Ella, returned to Houston and filed for divorce.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes dated many famous women, many of them decades younger, including Billie Dove, Faith Domergue, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth and Gene Tierney. He also proposed to Joan Fontaine several times, according to her autobiography No Bed of Roses. Jean Harlow accompanied him to the premiere of Hell's Angels, but Noah Dietrich wrote many years later that the relationship was strictly professional, as Hughes apparently personally disliked Harlow.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1925
    Age 19
    Hughes withdrew from Rice University shortly after his father's death. On June 1, 1925, he married Ella Botts Rice, daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston.
    More Details Hide Details They moved to Los Angeles, where he hoped to make a name for himself as a filmmaker. Hughes enjoyed a highly successful business career beyond engineering, aviation, and filmmaking, though many of his career endeavors involved varying entrepreneurial roles. The Summa Corporation was the name adopted for the business interests of Howard Hughes after he sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company in 1972. The company serves as the principal holding company for Hughes' business ventures and investments. It is primarily involved in aerospace and defense, electronics, mass media, manufacturing, and hospitality industries, but has maintained a strong presence in a wide variety of industries including real estate, petroleum drilling and oilfield services, consulting, entertainment, and mining. Much of his fortune was later used for philanthropic causes, notably towards health care and medical research. Hughes entered the entertainment industry after dropping out of Rice University and moving to Los Angeles. His first two films, Everybody's Acting (1927) and Two Arabian Knights (1928), were financial successes, the latter winning the first Academy Award for Best Director of a comedy picture. The Racket (1928) and The Front Page (1931) were also nominated for Academy Awards.
    Their deaths apparently inspired Hughes to include the creation of a medical research laboratory in the will that he signed in 1925 at age 19.
    More Details Hide Details Howard Sr.'s will had not been updated since Allene's death, and Hughes inherited 75 percent of the family fortune. On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor, enabling him to take full control of his life. Hughes was an excellent 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. Hughes rarely played competitively, and gradually gave up his passion for the sport to pursue other interests.
  • 1924
    Age 18
    Howard Hughes Sr. died of a heart attack in 1924.
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  • 1922
    Age 16
    Allene Hughes died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1909
    Age 3
    The senior Hughes made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, and founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909.
    More Details Hide Details Hughes' uncle was the famed novelist, screenwriter, and film director Rupert Hughes. Hughes demonstrated interest in science and technology at a young age. In particular, he had great engineering aptitude, building Houston's first "wireless" radio transmitter at age 11. He went on to be one of the first licensed ham radio operators in Houston, having the assigned callsign W5CY (originally 5CY). At 12, Hughes was photographed in the local newspaper, identified as being the first boy in Houston to have a "motorized" bicycle, which he had built from parts from his father's steam engine. He was an indifferent student, with a liking for mathematics, flying, and mechanics. He took his first flying lesson at 14, and later attended math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech.
  • 1906
    Age 0
    However, his certificate of baptism recorded on October 7, 1906, in the parish register of St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokuk, Iowa, listed his birth as September 24, 1905 without any reference to the place of birth.
    More Details Hide Details His parents were Howard R. Hughes Sr., a successful inventor and businessman from Missouri of English descent, and Allene Stone Gano. His father had patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places.
  • 1905
    Born
    Born in 1905.
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