Biography of Howard Hughes: career and private life
Howard Hughes was born on December 24, 1905 in Houston, Texas – an American businessman, aviator, producer and director. During his life, he became the owner of a huge fortune from his various enterprises, but, eventually, he became more famous for his eccentricity.
In 1909, Hughes’ father, Howard R. Hughes Sr., invented a rotary drill bit for oil wells, which made the family extremely rich. Hughes Jr. showed an early talent for engineering, attending the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and the Rice Institute of Technology in Houston. During this time, both his mother (1922) and father (1924) died. As a result, Hughes left school and took control of his father’s business, Hughes Tool Company. By the time he sold the company in 1972, it had become a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
In 1926, Hughes moved to Hollywood, where he became known for making films that went beyond the budget and the norms of censorship. He made several films, particularly the Oscar-winning Two Arab Knights (1927), before beginning work on the “Angels of Hell” in 1927. Hughes then made a series of films, particularly “Scarface” (1932), based on the life of Al Capone.
Also Hughes continued to work as a producer. In 1948 he bought a controlling interest in RKO Pictures Corporation, but sold them in 1953. The following year he bought the entire company just to sell it again in 1955. He remained Chairman of RKO until 1957, when he left the film industry.
Biography of Howard Hughes as an aviator
During the making of the movies, Hughes was also involved in aviation. In 1932, he founded the aircraft construction company Hughes in Culver City, California. On September 12, 1935, he set a world land speed record of 352.46 miles (567.23 km) per hour on an aircraft of his own design. On January 19, 1937, on the same ship, he reached 332 miles per hour, reducing the transcontinental flight time record to 7 hours and 28 minutes. In addition, on Lockheed 14 in July 1938, he flew the Earth in a record 91 hours and 14 minutes. The following year, Hughes bought a stake in Trans World Airlines (TWA) and eventually acquired 78% of its shares.
During World War II, Hughes focused on military aircraft and his company had several government contracts, particularly for Hughes XF-11 and H-4 Hercules. In the year 1950, the businessman began to stay in complete seclusion. However, in 1953 he founded Howard Hughes Medical Institute, using the profits of Hughes Aircraft Company. According to Hughes, the center was created to learn the basics of life itself. It became the leading institute for biological and medical research and one of the largest and most influential charitable institutions in the world.
Hughes’ inclination to privacy and solitude has often led him to contradictions. This was the case in 1971, when a scandal broke out with his memoirs, which were bought for publication in books and magazines for a total of $1 million. The manuscript and letters about it, which Hughes allegedly wrote, were subsequently found to be fraudulent and fake.
In his final years of life, Hughes suddenly moved his residence from one place to another. He took careful precautions to ensure absolute privacy in a luxury hotel, and was rarely seen by anyone other than a few male helpers. Working without sleep in a room with a black curtain, he lost his mind and went crazy from the consequences of a poor diet, and excess medication. In 1976, he died while flying from Acapulco to Houston for medical care.
After his death, there were considerable legal disputes over the disposal of his property. Several “wills” appeared, including those found in the offices of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, but all were eventually declared fakes.