Howard Robard Hughes, Jr achieved the impossible; to become the world’s richest man, the worlds top movie producer, and the worlds top aviator. He started out a millionaire and ended up a billionaire. Howard suffered for most of his life from tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Later in life he became a recluse due to his untreated OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and died in self-isolation.
In 1930 he wrote and directed Hells Angels costing $3.8 million, and loses $1.5 million. While making the movie he earned his pilots license and because he suffers from tinnitus a ringing of the ears the noise in the planes cockpit doesn’t bother him.
In 1922 he lobbies the US Department of Commerce to lower his pilots license number from 4223 to 80. And then shortly thereafter signs up with American Airways as a co-pilot under the name Charles W. Howard, but he is found out and resigns.
Received on July 20, 1938 a Medal, "cross of honor" in recognition of his flight around the world.
On August 7, 1939 he is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of the achievements in advancing the science of aviation.
Purchased real estate and casinos in Las Vegas and this reduced the mob activity and changed the city forever.
On July 7, 1946 takes the first flight of his experimental twin-engined photo-reconnaissance plane, XF-11, but during the flight an oil leak forced one of the counter-rotating propellers to reverse direction causing the plane to fail and send him barreling into Beverly Hills. Upon impact he was thrown from the cockpit and the fuel tanks exploded. As he lay there unconscious he was saved by a Marine Master sergeant, William Lloyd Durkin. Howard paid William Durkin a weekly paycheck unit the day he died.
Had affairs with several famous actresses including Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn
, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Ginger Rogers, and Ava Gardner
Howard once dated Ava Gardner after her divorce to Mickey Rooney. Ava in her third and last marriage was to Frank Sinatra.
Albert R. Broccoli who was the producer of the James Bond franchise used Howard Hughes reclusiveness from the public eye and world in Diamonds are Forever in the character Willard Whyte.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2006 has $15 Billion, making it the second wealthiest foundation in the United States behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with $26.8 Billion. In 2006 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had another booming growth with the infusion of wealth to the amount of $37 Billion from Warren Buffett bringing the foundations holdings to $60 Billion.
April 5, 1976: At 6-foot-4 and 90 lbs died in his private plane from kidney failure on his way to his penthouse in Mexico. He was unrecognizable from head to toe due to long and untaken care of hair, beard, finger and tow nails. The FBI had to use his fingerprints to identify him.