He was an out-spoken entrepreneur who was best known for his hard work and dedication in motion pictures and the aviation industry. His inherited fortune gave him the opportunity to start building on his dreams at an early age. Although Howard remained in the news his entire life he was not always looked on favorably in the public’s eye. In later years his paranoia left him a recluse and in twenty years he had not been seen or photographed by the public. Howard was born on Christmas Eve 1904, in Houston, Texas. He was the only child of Howard Robard Hughes Senior and Alene Gano Hughes.
His mother died when he was sixteen and his father died when he was 18. Howard’s childhood wasn’t the greatest but in the end it turned out all right. He was orphaned and inherited $2,000,000 and Hughes Tool Company. His uncle was Hollywood writer Rupert Hughes.
Howard took his first airplane ride when he was fourteen years old. Howard Hughes attended private elementary and high school in California and Massachusetts. He attended the Rice Institute in Houston, Texas. He also attended the California Institute of Technology. Howard had a fine education because he attended highly educational schools. His father’s great fortune left Howard very wealthy.
After his father’s death he was left an estate worth $871,000, and a patent for a drill. The drill was for oil drilling which made much money. In 1925 Howard got married to Ella Rice, he was twenty . He got divorced in 1928 and that same year he got his first pilots license. Howard had two careers that made him very successful in life.
He started a company called Hughes Aircraft Company. The reason he started this was his love of aviation. In 1927 he started his career in acting. Some of his movies were ‘Hells Angels’; in 1930, ‘Scarface’; in 1932, and ‘The Outlaw’; in 1941.
Howard’s great achievements broke records. His world speed record of 352 mph, in 1935 ended in a crash. It took him several tries to get that speed. On July 10, 1969 he and his crew took off to fly around the world. Even though he made several stops he was back home 4 days later, he landed at 2:37 on July 14. On July 7, 1946 he took the new XF-11 plane up for a spin.
After about an hour he crashed at the LA Country Club golf course. The crash left him unconscious in a burning plane with a punctured lung, fractured leg and a bunch of cuts and burns. A Marine sergeant pulled Hughes out of the plane, and he was rushed to Beverly Hills Emergency Hospital. He was given a fifty percent chance to live.
As he suffered with serious head and back injuries, he became addicted to painkillers. Hughes was constantly self- injecting morphine into his body. As the years passed he became irrationally paranoid. He surrounded himself with aides that he trusted; a group of seven Mormons which never left Howard’s side, and insisted that any item handed to him be covered by a Kleenex.
Hughes had many projects he worked on such as the ‘Spruce Goose. ‘; It was the biggest plane ever built. With a wing span as long as a football field and room for six hundred plus passengers it was very famous. The Spruce Goose had eight seventeen foot propellers and the interior looked like the set of the old ‘Time Tunnel,’; TV series.
On November 2, 1945 in San Pedro Harbor the Spruce Goose flew but for only seventy yards. Hughes also built the world’s first communications satellite. His dream was that anyone on or about the earth could communicate with someone else. Arthur C.
Clark first had this idea but never told anyone, Hughes did! By the mid 1960’s Hughes and Clark’s dream became a reality. Howard had many trophies, plaques and ribbons. In 1941 he won the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the Collier Trophy in 1959. He was also awarded the Harmon Trophy and New York City ticker tape after his world flight.
Probably the most honored award just a few