Howard Hughes


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A Far Traveler

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he turned it into a banquet setting of pure gold. Hughes was bigger than life, nothing was too big for him, including several of Hollywood's great starlets, the airline industry, Las Vegas, the US Congress, and all of Hughes Industries. Then suddenly he became a recluse, odd and retiring, some say drug addicted, running his empire through agents, and finally dying on an airplane escape to yet another hideaway.

Of course I knew of Howard Hughes growing up, but he never meant much to me, until in college I saw a Playboy magazine article which began with an illustration of Richard Nixon as a puppet on the hand of Howard Hughes, and Howard Hughes a puppet on the hand of some unknown creature, unknown because we only saw its arm, creature because that arm was green, hairy and terminated in a dragon like claw. That image got filed away in my brain only to pop out when I started writing A Far Traveler.

For a quick study of Hughes, get and watch Amazing Mr. Hughes with Tommy Lee Jones as Howard. It is the most accurate portrayal of Hughes life. If you don't like old guys then watch The Aviator, Decaprio as Hughes, but I think it is less accurate.

I find Hughes aviation and his reclusive period to be the most intriguing aspects of his life, the aviation for the shear audacity, and the reclusion for the lurking sedation that you know had to be brooding among his lieutenants during his absentee rule.

I believe he survived two plane crashes, one messing him up badly, leading to arthritis and the eventual use of drugs to block the pain.  It may have begun his slide from the indomitable to the apprehensive and compulsive .   

Howard Hughes,  maybe the last great baron of industry, one of the great cowboys of aviation, was certainly one of America's great individualist. 

Related Authors Links: Baigent,   Butler,   Eisenman,   Hancock Knight Leigh Lomas,   Van Dšniken

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