I was surprised to find more than a dozen boxes filled with records from the Howard Hughes estate at the Harris County Clerk’s Office. I snapped a few pictures and for you young people who have no idea who Howard Hughes is – his bio is below:

Howard Hughes, Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was at times a pilot, an engineer, a movie producer, a playboy, an eccentric and one of the wealthiest people in the world. He is famous for building the Hercules airplane, commonly known as the Spruce Goose, and for his debilitating eccentric behavior later in life.


Howard Hughes was born in Humble, Texas on December 24, 1905. His parents were Allene Gano Hughes and Howard R. Hughes, Sr., who invented the dual cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling of oil wells in previously inaccessible places. He founded Hughes Tool Company to commercialize this invention.

As a teenager, Howard Hughes declared that his goals in life were to become the world’s best golfer, the world’s best pilot, and the world’s best movie producer. Despite attending many good schools, he never earned a diploma. He attended the Fessenden School in West Newton, Massachusetts (near Boston), and the Thacher School in Ojai, California. His father subsequently arranged for him to audit math and engineering classes at the California Institute of Technology. He then enrolled at the Rice Institute (later known as Rice University).

His parents died when he was a teenager – his mother in 1922 due to complications from minor surgery, and his father two years later from a heart attack. Hughes inherited much of Hughes Tool Company, but had to deal with trustees, whom he considered meddling. He went to court to become an emancipated minor. He then bought out various relatives, and took complete control of Hughes Tool in 1924 at the age of 19.

Howard Hughes dropped out of Rice, and moved to Hollywood where he had an uncle, Rupert Hughes, a novelist. His girlfriend, Ella Rice, joined him, and they married on June 1, 1925 (divorced in 1929).

Howard Hughes Biography

Howard Hughes used his fortune to become a movie producer. He was at first dismissed by Hollywood insiders as a rich man’s son. However, his first two films released in 1927, Everybody’s Acting and Two Arabian Knights were financial successes, the latter winning an Academy Award for Best Director of a Comedy Picture. The Racket in 1928 and The Front Page in 1931 were nominated for Academy Awards. He spent a then-unheard-of $4 million of his own money to make Hell’s Angels, which he wrote and directed. It and Scarface, which he produced, became smash hits. His best-known film may be The Outlaw starring Jane Russell, for whom Hughes designed a special bra. Scarface and The Outlaw received attention from industry censors; Scarface for its violence, The Outlaw for Russell’s physical charms. He signed an unknown actor David Bacon in 1932 to play Billy The Kid. The next year, Bacon’s murder led to allegations that an intimate affair with Hughes may have resulted in his death. Greta Keller, Vienna-born cabaret singer and actress and Bacon’s widow, claimed later in life that Bacon had been prepared to reveal intimate details to get released from his contract with Hughes.

Hughes was a notorious ladies’ man, and allegedly had affairs with many famous women including Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Gene Tierney, and Ava Gardner. Bessie Love was a mistress during his first marriage. Jean Harlow accompanied him to the premier of Hell’s Angels, although it’s uncertain if they were an item. Less-significant affairs are rumored to have occurred between Hughes and a long list of celebrities.