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The Constellations were among the highest-performing commercial aircraft of the late s and s, and allowed TWA to pioneer nonstop transcontinental service.

After the Boeing was announced, Hughes opted to pursue a more unique jet aircraft for TWA and approached Convair in late Convair proposed two concepts to Hughes, but Hughes was unable to decide which concept to adopt, and Convair eventually abandoned its initial jet project after the mockups of the and Douglas DC-8 were unveiled.

Hughes did not have enough cash on hand or future cash flow to pay for the orders, and did not immediately seek bank financing.

Hughes believed that Dietrich wished to have Hughes committed as mentally incompetent, although the evidence of this is inconclusive.

Dietrich resigned by telephone in May after repeated requests for stock options, which Hughes refused to grant, and with no further progress on the jet financing.

The claim was largely dependent upon obtaining testimony from Hughes himself. Hughes went into hiding and refused to testify.

Hughes acquired control of Boston-based Northeast Airlines in Northeast went on to merge with Delta Air Lines in Republic was subsequently acquired by and merged into Northwest Airlines which in turn was ultimately merged into Delta Air Lines in Hughes had made numerous business partnerships through industrialist and producer, David Charnay.

George, Utah that eventually led to Hughes buying up nearly every copy of the film he could, only to watch the film at home repeatedly for many nights in a row.

Charnay later bought the Four Star , the film and television production company that produced The Conqueror. Hughes, Charnay, as well as three others were indicted.

The complexity of this LBO was the first of its kind. Attorney DeVoe Heaton, accused the group of conspiring to drive down the stock price of Air West in order to pressure company directors to sell to Hughes.

Thompson, the federal judge that made the decision to dismiss the charges called the indictment one of the worst claims that he had ever seen.

The charges were filed again, a second time, by U. The Federal Judge ruled on November 13, and elaborated to say that the case suggested a "reprehensible misuse of the power of great wealth", but in his judicial opinion, "no crime had been committed.

During a long pause between the years of the dismissed charges against Hughes, Charnay, and their partners, Howard Hughes had mysteriously died mid-flight while on the way to Houston from Acapulco.

No further attempts were made to file any indictments after Hughes had died. The foundation leased the land from Hughes Tool Co.

The deal was the topic of a protracted legal battle between Hughes and the Internal Revenue Service , which Hughes ultimately won.

In , during the cold war era , Hughes was approached by the CIA through his longtime partner, David Charnay, to help secretly recover the Soviet submarine K , which had sunk near Hawaii four years earlier.

The recovery plan used the special-purpose salvage vessel Glomar Explorer. In the summer of , Glomar Explorer attempted to raise the Soviet vessel.

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 Glomar Explorer was eventually acquired by Transocean Inc. In his book, Howard: Hughes , Dietrich said that Hughes genuinely liked and respected Jane Russell , but never sought romantic involvement with her.

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.

In , Hughes made a purchase of an unseen luxury steam yacht named the Rover , which was previously owned by British shipping magnate Lord Inchcape.

My experience is that the English are the most honest race in the world. On July 11, , Hughes struck and killed a pedestrian named Gabriel S. Meyer with his car at the corner of 3rd Street and Lorraine in Los Angeles.

A witness to the crash 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 S.

Nancy Bayly Watts , who was in the car with Hughes at the time of the crash, corroborated this version of the story. During his engagement at the Last Frontier hotel , entertainer Liberace mistook Hughes for his lighting director, instructing him to instantly bring up a blue light should he start to play " Clair de lune ".

Such reports were confirmed by actor Max Showalter , who became a close friend of Peters while shooting Niagara In late , Donald Nixon was collecting intelligence for his brother in preparation for the upcoming presidential election.

One of his sources was John H. Meier, in collaboration with former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and others, wanted to feed misinformation to the Nixon campaign.

Hughes was eccentric , [] and suffered from a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD. Dietrich wrote that Hughes only ate the same thing for dinner, a New York strip steak cooked medium rare, dinner salad, and peas, but only the smaller ones, pushing the larger ones aside.

For breakfast, Hughes wanted his eggs cooked the way his family cook, Lily, made them. Hughes had a "phobia about germs", and "his passion for secrecy became a mania.

He wrote a detailed memorandum to the crew on how to fix the problem. Richard Fleischer , who directed His Kind of Woman with Hughes as executive producer, wrote at length in his autobiography about the difficulty of dealing with the tycoon.

In his book, Just Tell Me When to Cry , Fleischer explained that Hughes was fixated on trivial details and was alternately indecisive and obstinate.

In , Hughes told his aides that he wanted to screen some movies at a film studio near his home. He ate only chocolate bars and chicken and drank only milk , and was surrounded by dozens of Kleenex boxes that he continuously stacked and re-arranged.

He wrote detailed memos to his aides giving them explicit instructions neither to look at him nor speak to him unless spoken to.

Throughout this period, Hughes sat fixated in his chair, often naked, continually watching movies. When he finally emerged in the summer of , his hygiene was terrible.

He had neither bathed nor cut his hair and nails for weeks; this may have been due to allodynia , which results in a pain response to stimuli that would normally not cause pain.

After the screening room incident, Hughes moved into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel where he also rented rooms for his aides, his wife, and numerous girlfriends.

He would sit naked in his bedroom with a pink hotel napkin placed over his genitals, watching movies.

This may have been because Hughes found the touch of clothing painful due to allodynia. He may have watched movies to distract himself from his pain—a common practice among patients with intractable pain, especially those who do not receive adequate treatment.

Hughes began purchasing all restaurant chains and four star hotels that had been founded within the state of Texas. This included, if for only a short period, many unknown franchises currently out of business.

He placed ownership of the restaurants with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and all licenses were resold shortly after. Another time, he became obsessed with the film Ice Station Zebra , and had it run on a continuous loop in his home.

According to his aides, he watched it times. Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects to insulate himself from germs.

Once one of the most visible men in America, Hughes ultimately vanished from public view, although tabloids continued to follow rumors of his behavior and whereabouts.

He was reported to be terminally ill, mentally unstable, or even dead. Injuries from numerous aircraft crashes caused Hughes to spend much of his later life in pain, and he eventually became addicted to codeine , which he injected intramuscularly.

The wealthy and aging Hughes, accompanied by his entourage of personal aides, began moving from one hotel to another, always taking up residence in the top floor penthouse.

Because he refused to leave the hotel and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early Between and , he bought several other hotel-casinos, including the Castaways , New Frontier , the Landmark Hotel and Casino , and the Sands.

After Hughes left the Desert Inn, hotel employees discovered that his drapes had not been opened during the time he lived there and had rotted through.

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.

They put in a request for the smallest amount the company could provide for a special order, gallons 1, 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 French vanilla ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free banana nut ice cream to casino customers for a year.

It is most likely true. As an owner of several major Las Vegas businesses, Hughes wielded much political and economic influence in Nevada and elsewhere.

During the s and early s, he disapproved of underground nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. Hughes was concerned about the risk from residual nuclear radiation , and attempted to halt the tests.

Johnson and Richard Nixon. In , Jean Peters filed for divorce. The two had not lived together for many years. 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.

Hughes was living in the Intercontinental Hotel near Lake Managua in Nicaragua, seeking privacy and security, [] when a magnitude 6. As a precaution, Hughes moved first to a rather large tent, facing the hotel, then after a few days there 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.

In , author Clifford Irving caused a media sensation when he claimed he had co-written an authorized autobiography of Hughes. In , the Orson Welles film F for Fake included a section on the Hughes biography hoax, leaving a question open as to whether it was actually Hughes who took part in the teleconference since so few people had actually heard or seen him in recent years.

The film The Hoax , starring Richard Gere , is also based on these events. Hughes was reported to have died on April 5, , at 1: 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.

His reclusiveness and possible drug use made him practically unrecognizable. Conover, was used when his body arrived at a morgue in Houston on the day of his death.

A subsequent autopsy recorded kidney failure as the cause of death. He suffered from malnutrition. While his kidneys were damaged, his other internal organs, including his brain, were deemed perfectly healthy.

Hughes is buried next to his parents at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. In this will, Hughes left his entire estate to the Hughes Medical Institute, as he had no connection to family and was seriously ill.

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The date remains uncertain due to conflicting dates from various sources. He repeatedly claimed Christmas Eve as his birthday. He had English , Welsh and some French Huguenot ancestry, [9] and was a descendant of John Gano , the minister who allegedly baptized George Washington.

The senior Hughes made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, obtained several early patents, and founded the Hughes Tool Company in At a young age, Hughes showed interest in science and technology.

He took his first flying lesson at 14, and attended Fessenden School in Massachusetts in He later attended math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech.

His mother Allene died in March from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. Their deaths apparently inspired Hughes to include the establishment of a medical research laboratory in the will that he signed in at age From a young age Hughes became a proficient and enthusiastic golfer.

He often scored near-par figures, played the game to a two-three handicap during his 20s, and for a time aimed for a professional golf career.

He golfed frequently with top players, including Gene Sarazen. Hughes rarely played competitively and gradually gave up his passion for the sport to pursue other interests.

After Hughes hurt himself in the late s, his golfing tapered off, and after his F crash, Hughes was unable to play at all.

They moved to Los Angeles, where he hoped to make a name for himself as a filmmaker. They moved into the Ambassador Hotel , and Hughes proceeded to learn to fly a Waco , while simultaneously producing his first motion picture, Swell Hogan.

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 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 engineering.

Much of his fortune was later used for philanthropic causes, notably towards health care and medical research. His first film, Swell Hogan directed by Ralph Graves , was a disaster.

The Outlaw premiered in , but was not released nationally until Within weeks of acquiring the studio, Hughes dismissed employees. Production dwindled to 9 pictures that first year Hughes was in control, while before, RKO averaged 30 per year.

Production was shut down for six months during which time investigations were conducted of each employee who remained with RKO as far as their political leanings were concerned.

Only after ensuring that the stars under contract to RKO had no suspect affiliations would Hughes approve completed pictures to be sent back for re-shooting.

This was especially true of the women who were under contract to RKO at that time. In , an abortive sale to a Chicago-based group connected to the mafia with no experience in the industry also disrupted studio operations at RKO even further.

In , Hughes was involved with a high profile lawsuit as part of the settlement of the United States v. As a result of the hearings, the shaky status of RKO became increasingly apparent.

They had accused him of 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.

Hughes retained the rights to pictures that he had personally produced, including those made at RKO. For Howard Hughes, this was the virtual end of his year involvement in the motion picture industry.

However, his reputation as a financial wizard emerged unscathed. General Tire was interested mainly in exploiting the value of the RKO library for television programming even though it made some attempts to continue producing films.

After a year and a half of mixed success, General Tire shut down film production entirely at RKO at the end of January According to Noah Dietrich, "Land became a principal asset for the Hughes empire.

Hughes acquired acres in Culver City for Hughes Aircraft, bought 7 sections in Tucson for his Falcon missile plant, and purchased 25, acres near Las Vegas.

Beyond extending his business prowess in the manufacturing, aviation, entertainment, and hospitality industries, Hughes was a successful real estate investor.

Hughes was deeply involved in the American real estate industry where he amassed vast holdings of undeveloped land both in Las Vegas and in the desert surrounding the city that had gone unused during his lifetime.

This forced the remaining businesses of the "original" Hughes Tool to adopt a new corporate name Summa. The name "Summa"—Latin for "highest"—was adopted without the approval of Hughes himself, who preferred to keep his own name on the business, and suggested HRH Properties for Hughes Resorts and Hotels, and also his own initials.

In , Summa announced plans for Summerlin , a master-planned community named for the paternal grandmother of Howard Hughes, Jean Amelia Summerlin.

Initially staying in the Desert Inn , Hughes refused to vacate his room, and instead decided to purchase the entire hotel.

He quickly became one of the most powerful men in Las Vegas. He was instrumental in changing the image of Las Vegas from its Wild West roots into a more refined cosmopolitan city.

Hughes was a lifelong aircraft enthusiast and pilot. He survived four airplane accidents: He set many world records and commissioned the construction of custom aircraft for himself while heading Hughes Aircraft at the airport in Glendale , CA.

Operating from there, the most technologically important aircraft he commissioned was the Hughes H-1 Racer. This was the last time in history that the world airspeed record was set in an aircraft built by a private individual.

A year and a half later, on January 19, , 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 seven hours, 28 minutes, and 25 seconds beating his own previous record of nine hours, 27 minutes.

The H-1 Racer featured a number of design innovations: The H-1 Racer was donated to the Smithsonian. On July 14, , Hughes set another record by completing a flight around the world in just 91 hours three days, 19 hours, 17 minutes , beating the previous record set in by Wiley Post in a single engine Lockheed Vega by almost four days.

Hughes returned home ahead of photographs of his flight. For this flight he flew a Lockheed 14 Super Electra NX, 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.

Albert Lodwick of Mystic, Iowa provided organizational skills as the flight operations manager. 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.

Hughes also had a role in the design and financing of both the Boeing Stratoliner and Lockheed L Constellation. Truman sent the Congressional medal to Hughes after the F crash.

After his around-the-world flight, Hughes had declined to go to the White House to collect it. The Hughes D-2 was conceived in as a bomber with five crew members, powered by cylinder Wright R Tornado engines.

The aircraft was constructed using the Duramold process. Hughes then attempted to get the military to pay for the development of the D In November , 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 Only the two prototypes were completed; the second one with a single propeller per side.

In the spring of Hughes spent nearly a month in Las Vegas , test flying his Sikorsky S amphibian aircraft, practicing touch-and-go landings on Lake Mead in preparation for flying the H-4 Hercules.

The weather conditions at the lake during the day were ideal and he enjoyed Las Vegas at night. The test flight did not go well. 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 was involved in another near-fatal aircraft accident on July 7, , while performing the first flight of the prototype U.

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 started to drop dramatically and crashed in the Beverly Hills neighborhood surrounding the country club.

When the XF finally came to a halt after destroying three houses, the fuel tanks exploded, setting fire to the aircraft and a nearby home at North Whittier Drive, owned by Lt Col.

Durkin, who happened to be in the area visiting friends. 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.

Despite his physical injuries, Hughes was proud that his mind was still working. He called in plant engineers to design a customized bed, equipped with hot and cold running water, built in six sections, and operated by 30 electric motors, with push-button adjustments.

Hughes, however, believed that neither miracle nor modern medicine contributed to his recovery, instead asserting the natural life-giving properties of fresh-squeezed orange juice were responsible.

Many attribute his long-term dependence on opiates to his use of codeine as a painkiller during his convalescence. The War Production Board not the military originally contracted with Henry Kaiser and Hughes to produce the gigantic HK-1 Hercules flying boat for use during World War II to transport troops and equipment across the Atlantic as an alternative to seagoing troop transport ships that were vulnerable to German U-boats.

After disputes, Kaiser withdrew from the project and Hughes elected to continue it as the H-4 Hercules. However, the aircraft was not completed until after the end of World War II.

The Hercules is no longer the longest nor heaviest aircraft ever built; both of those titles are currently held by the Antonov An Mriya.

The Hercules flew only once for one mile 1. The Hercules was nicknamed the Spruce Goose by its critics, but it was actually made largely from birch , not spruce , rather than of aluminum, because the contract required that Hughes build the aircraft of "non- strategic materials ".

The Hughes Helicopters division started in when helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold their latest design to Hughes for production.

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 , Hughes created a new division of the company: In , 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.

It has particularly emphasized capabilities in high performance integrated circuits, high power lasers, antennas, networking, and smart materials.

Hughes used one personally, and the other 5 he let TWA operate. The Constellations were among the highest-performing commercial aircraft of the late s and s, and allowed TWA to pioneer nonstop transcontinental service.

After the Boeing was announced, Hughes opted to pursue a more unique jet aircraft for TWA and approached Convair in late Convair proposed two concepts to Hughes, but Hughes was unable to decide which concept to adopt, and Convair eventually abandoned its initial jet project after the mockups of the and Douglas DC-8 were unveiled.

Hughes did not have enough cash on hand or future cash flow to pay for the orders, and did not immediately seek bank financing.

Hughes believed that Dietrich wished to have Hughes committed as mentally incompetent, although the evidence of this is inconclusive. Dietrich resigned by telephone in May after repeated requests for stock options, which Hughes refused to grant, and with no further progress on the jet financing.

The claim was largely dependent upon obtaining testimony from Hughes himself. Hughes went into hiding and refused to testify. Hughes acquired control of Boston-based Northeast Airlines in Northeast went on to merge with Delta Air Lines in Republic was subsequently acquired by and merged into Northwest Airlines which in turn was ultimately merged into Delta Air Lines in Hughes had made numerous business partnerships through industrialist and producer, David Charnay.

George, Utah that eventually led to Hughes buying up nearly every copy of the film he could, only to watch the film at home repeatedly for many nights in a row.

Charnay later bought the Four Star , the film and television production company that produced The Conqueror. Hughes, Charnay, as well as three others were indicted.

The complexity of this LBO was the first of its kind. Attorney DeVoe Heaton, accused the group of conspiring to drive down the stock price of Air West in order to pressure company directors to sell to Hughes.

Thompson, the federal judge that made the decision to dismiss the charges called the indictment one of the worst claims that he had ever seen.

The charges were filed again, a second time, by U. The Federal Judge ruled on November 13, and elaborated to say that the case suggested a "reprehensible misuse of the power of great wealth", but in his judicial opinion, "no crime had been committed.

During a long pause between the years of the dismissed charges against Hughes, Charnay, and their partners, Howard Hughes had mysteriously died mid-flight while on the way to Houston from Acapulco.

No further attempts were made to file any indictments after Hughes had died. The foundation leased the land from Hughes Tool Co.

The deal was the topic of a protracted legal battle between Hughes and the Internal Revenue Service , which Hughes ultimately won.

In , during the cold war era , Hughes was approached by the CIA through his longtime partner, David Charnay, to help secretly recover the Soviet submarine K , which had sunk near Hawaii four years earlier.

The recovery plan used the special-purpose salvage vessel Glomar Explorer. In the summer of , Glomar Explorer attempted to raise the Soviet vessel.

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 Glomar Explorer was eventually acquired by Transocean Inc. In his book, Howard: Hughes , Dietrich said that Hughes genuinely liked and respected Jane Russell , but never sought romantic involvement with her.

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.

In , Hughes made a purchase of an unseen luxury steam yacht named the Rover , which was previously owned by British shipping magnate Lord Inchcape.

My experience is that the English are the most honest race in the world. On July 11, , Hughes struck and killed a pedestrian named Gabriel S.

Meyer with his car at the corner of 3rd Street and Lorraine in Los Angeles. A witness to the crash 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 S. Nancy Bayly Watts , who was in the car with Hughes at the time of the crash, corroborated this version of the story.

During his engagement at the Last Frontier hotel , entertainer Liberace mistook Hughes for his lighting director, instructing him to instantly bring up a blue light should he start to play " Clair de lune ".

Such reports were confirmed by actor Max Showalter , who became a close friend of Peters while shooting Niagara In late , Donald Nixon was collecting intelligence for his brother in preparation for the upcoming presidential election.

One of his sources was John H. Meier, in collaboration with former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and others, wanted to feed misinformation to the Nixon campaign.

Hughes was eccentric , [] and suffered from a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD. Dietrich wrote that Hughes only ate the same thing for dinner, a New York strip steak cooked medium rare, dinner salad, and peas, but only the smaller ones, pushing the larger ones aside.

For breakfast, Hughes wanted his eggs cooked the way his family cook, Lily, made them. Hughes had a "phobia about germs", and "his passion for secrecy became a mania.

He wrote a detailed memorandum to the crew on how to fix the problem. Richard Fleischer , who directed His Kind of Woman with Hughes as executive producer, wrote at length in his autobiography about the difficulty of dealing with the tycoon.

In his book, Just Tell Me When to Cry , Fleischer explained that Hughes was fixated on trivial details and was alternately indecisive and obstinate.

In , Hughes told his aides that he wanted to screen some movies at a film studio near his home. He ate only chocolate bars and chicken and drank only milk , and was surrounded by dozens of Kleenex boxes that he continuously stacked and re-arranged.

He wrote detailed memos to his aides giving them explicit instructions neither to look at him nor speak to him unless spoken to. Throughout this period, Hughes sat fixated in his chair, often naked, continually watching movies.

When he finally emerged in the summer of , his hygiene was terrible. He had neither bathed nor cut his hair and nails for weeks; this may have been due to allodynia , which results in a pain response to stimuli that would normally not cause pain.

After the screening room incident, Hughes moved into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel where he also rented rooms for his aides, his wife, and numerous girlfriends.

He would sit naked in his bedroom with a pink hotel napkin placed over his genitals, watching movies. This may have been because Hughes found the touch of clothing painful due to allodynia.

He may have watched movies to distract himself from his pain—a common practice among patients with intractable pain, especially those who do not receive adequate treatment.

Hughes began purchasing all restaurant chains and four star hotels that had been founded within the state of Texas. This included, if for only a short period, many unknown franchises currently out of business.

He placed ownership of the restaurants with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and all licenses were resold shortly after. Another time, he became obsessed with the film Ice Station Zebra , and had it run on a continuous loop in his home.

According to his aides, he watched it times. Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects to insulate himself from germs. Once one of the most visible men in America, Hughes ultimately vanished from public view, although tabloids continued to follow rumors of his behavior and whereabouts.

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