Howard Hughes, Part 1



Part One of Three

Some of you remember the man named Howard Hughes. He was an amazing man who became a pathetic hermit during the last 26 years of his life. He became an eccentric recluse obsessed with cleanliness and controlling every aspect of his environment, eventually leading to his madness. He was the man behind the largest aircraft ever built. He was a pioneer in the world of film making. He was also known for the movie scarlets who flocked to him. 

The Early Life Of Howard Hughes

Beginning when he was born, his records were falsified. His birth was recorded as of December 24, 1905, in Houston, Texas. He was born two months earlier in a town named Humble. From here, the lies accumulated, one on top of another. It was reported he was born one of the triplets – a lie. It was then said he was his mother’s sister’s illegitimate son brought in to substitute for a baby that had died. Lies – all lies! His father became a rich Texas oil baron who amassed a fortune in dollars (this is the truth!). He founded the Texas Oil Fuel Company – the forerunner to Texaco. He soon married Allene Gano, a hypochondriac. She was terrified of small animals and had an insect phobia. She was also obsessed with cleanliness. These characteristics were passed on to Howard Hughes, who they called “Sonny.” The boy also inherited the partial deafness that ran in the family. It became progressively worse over his life. As a young boy, it caused him to become isolated. After he was born, the father designed and invented the Hughes Tool Bit – a drill bit that went on to make millions of dollars. 

Money Is No Object For Howard Hughes

With the money flowing in from the oil, young Howard was sent to a boarding school. His headteacher described him as an “uppity,” snobbish bore who wouldn’t join in with the other boys. He preferred to sit with the girls. He then gained a reputation as a sissy. However, he also became known as a whiz kid. He assembled his first wireless radio transmitter at age 11. The next year he created the first motorized bicycle. Next, he was sent to a Boy Scouts camp. It was there he was able to shake off his effeminate nature. It was also at this time that he would become most peaceful when he was alone in an airplane. He loved flying. At the age of 14, he joined his father and took his first ride on the Curtis Flying Boat. The $5 trip lasted ten minutes. Young Howard realized his love of flying – while his father got sick. Sonny discovered flying to be exhilarating and liberating. 

Howard Hughes Parents Exit The World

When Sonny was 19, his mother had died from an ectopic pregnancy. His father died nearly two years later of a heart attack. Howard became heir to the Hughes Tool Company, and he decided to leave college. Since he was young and was worth a fortune, he decided to pursue his love of flying airplanes and make movies in Hollywood. Hughes loved to play golf. One day, while out on the greens, Howard Hughes watched as a biplane flew overhead. He was able to track the pilot. He offered to pay the pilot a hundred dollars per day to teach him to fly. Two years later, Howard was issued his private pilot’s license. Howard also entered the land of Hollywood. He hired a director to lead the way. His first picture to debut, “Two Arabian Knights,” was very successful and won an Academy Award in 1927. 

Howard Hughes Meets A New Actress

Hughes took complete charge of his next movie, “Hell’s Angels.” In the movie, he introduced a former bit player named Harlean Carpenter. The platinum-haired beautiful woman was a bombshell who became a sensation during the 1930s. Her name was changed to Jean Harlow.

Part Two – Howard Hughes, on Wednesday.