In a penthouse bedroom in Las Vegas, a solitary man sits in a darkened room. He is eating chicken soup. It has taken him hours to consume half of the bowl as he is glued in front of his private screen watching his collection of old westerns. His aides come and reheat the bowl until there is no more. Once they exit, he covers the entire room with toilet paper in case germs have contaminated the room. Billionaire and business tycoon Howard Hughes has dined for the day. People always say it is good to be rich, however in Howard Hughes’s case it was a blessing and a curse. He lived his early life as a king and died a slave (Nicholas 48). Everything he touched turned into gold, whether it was movies, planes or people (Nicholas 48). Howard Hughes was one of the most successful aviators of his time. His investment in film and Hollywood starlets was legendary as well as his eccentric habits which ultimately led to his demise.
Howard Robert Hughes was born in Huston, Texas in 1905(Moore 92). His father, Robert Hughes, became well known for building oil drilling tools for major corporations such as Standard oil (Nicholas 48). His mother Jane was a frail woman who had a serious case of obsessive compulsive disorder towards hygiene and lived and made her son live in fear of germs for his whole life (Simikin 10). At the age of 52, Robert Hughes died of stomach cancer and left his company to his son Howard (Nicholas 48). Having no interest in the oil machinery business, Howard left the company to his cousins and left Texas.
At the age of 23, Howard Hughes came to Los Angeles, California to pursue his own dream in producing films. He started RKO pictures and produced award winning movies such as Scarface, a movie which was bas on the life of estranged gangster Al Capone (King 23). The movie received two academy awards that year and Hughes became one of the most famous film producers to ever step foot in Hollywood (Nicholas 48). Also, Hughes introduced many faces to the big screen; however his greatest accomplishment was in the form of the platinum blonde Jean Harlow. Sadly, after he ended their relationship, she took her own life (Nicholas 48). After he was bought out of RKO, Hughes made a huge accomplishment by opening and winning a court case against RKO and bought back the company and fired all of its board members (Simikin 10). Finally, his movies influenced Alfred Hitchcock to create one the greatest movies in film history “Psycho” which people speculated was based on Howard’s life.
One of the things that interested Hughes in his prime was aviation. “In my mind Howard Hughes is the prince of the skies” Juan Trippe (King 23). In 1942, Howard Hughes began building small light planes for the American military to use for combat while they were battling the Germans (Nicholas 48). Although none of these planes were actually made, Hughes made the H-1 racer which was launched in late ‘42 and 400 planes were complementary given to both the air force and the...