Profession: Aviator and Businessman
Why Famous: Howard Hughes is known for his eccentricities as much as for his achievements, which were many. Hughes was a Hollywood filmmaker, an aviator, real estate mogul and philanthropist.
Hughes' enormous wealth originated from his father's invention of a drill bit used in oil drilling. Arriving in Hollywood in 1926 he funded and produced such films as Hell's Angels (1927), Scarface (1934) and The Outlaws (1943), which made a star out of Jane Russell. Hughes even designed a bra for Russell to wear in the film.
In 1932 he entered the aviation industry founding Hughes Aircraft Company. As a pilot, Hughes personally set a number of flight records. Hughes also bought a controlling interest in the airline TWA.
Hughes famously built an eight engine wooden flying boat, nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" and piloted it on its only voyage in 1947.
During the 1950s Hughes was a major figure in the development of Las Vegas, buying land and lessening its association with the Mafia.
From this period Hughes became increasing reclusive moving around the world to locations that offered him the seclusion he craved. By the time he died in 1976 Hughes appeared to be showing signs of mental illness. He was thin through an extreme diet, addicted to pain killers and with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, that led to him reputedly keeping his urine in jars.
- 1925-06-01 Businessman Howard Hughes marries 1st wife Ella Rice
- 1929-12-09 Businessman Howard Hughes divorces 1st wife Ella Rice after 4 years of marriage
- 1957-01-12 Aviator Howard Hughes marries 2nd wife actress Jean Peters
- 1971-06-18 Aviator Howard Hughes divorces 2nd wife Jean Peters after 14 years of marriage
- 1935-09-12 Millionaire Howard Hughes flies his own designed plane at 352.46 mph
- 1937-01-19 Millionaire Howard Hughes sets transcontinental air record (7h 28m 25s)
- 1938-07-10 Howard Hughes flies around the world in 91 hours
- 1939-08-07 Millionaire Howard Hughes is presented with a Congressional Gold Medal
- 1943-05-17 Millionaire Howard Hughes crashes into Lake Mead, while test flying his Sikorsky S-43, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Richard Felt
- 1947-11-02 Howard Hughes flies "Spruce Goose", a huge wooden airplane for the first and last time
- 1972-01-09 Billionaire Howard Hughes says Clifford Irving's autobiography is a fake
- 1978-06-08 Nevada jury rules Howard Hughes "Mormon Will" is a forgery