Howard Hughes is a name that resonates with millions of people all over the world. Famous for his diverse entrepreneurism and his love of flight, he’s a figure that’s made it to the big screen as well as the record books. But what are some must-know facts and figures about Howard Hughes that could help you get to know the man a little better? Here are some fun facts about Howard Hughes you’ll want to remember.
1. Who was Howard Hughes?
Howard Hughes was a famous businessman, engineer, film producer, and philanthropist. However, he was arguably most well-known for being a record-setting pilot – something that stemmed from a genuine love of aircraft.
2. Hughes was a Texas native.
Howard Hughes was born on December 24th, 1905. He was born in Humble, a town in Texas. He was the son of Howard R. Hughes Sr.
3. Hughes inherited the family business.
At the age of 18, Howard Hughes became a millionaire! Following the death of his father, and due to the fact that he was an only child whose mother had died only two years prior, he inherited the Hughes Tool Company. He then dropped out of university and let other professionals manage the business while he chased his own dreams!
4. Hollywood beckoned!
Howard Hughes set his sights on Hollywood from a very young age, and in 1925, he made his way there! He started his work in the business as a film producer, with the 1926 film “Swell Hogan.”
5. Hughes soon became a director.
Hughes made waves in the City of Angels soon after with his own directorial debut on the film “Hell’s Angels.” The film was about World War I battles taking place in the sky, and he hired real pilots to shoot the scenes with the idea of making it as real as possible. Tragically, three of the pilots died during the production of the film, and Howard Hughes crashed a plane, too.
6. The Hughes Aircraft Company took shape.
Hughes’ growing love of aviation led the entrepreneur to start his own aircraft company back in 1932! The Hughes Aircraft Company went on to become a major aerospace and defense contractor.
7. A record-setting aviator!
Howard Hughes was primarily known for his passion for flying and for using that passion to set multiple aviation records! Back in 1935, he broke the world record for flying an airplane across the land. He traveled 352 miles per hour in California. But that was only the first of the many records he set in the air!
8. The H-4 Hercules is tied to Hughes’ legacy.
During World War II, Howard Hughes was contracted by the US government to design and build an aircraft specifically with the purpose of carrying about 700 troops, or a load of 60 tons – and it needed to carry this payload all the way across the Atlantic Ocean! The H-4 Hercules, also known as the Flying Boat and the Spruce Goose, was the biggest aircraft ever made and had a wingspan of 320 feet!
9. The Spruce Goose took flight!
The H-4 Hercules made its maiden voyage after World War II, on November 2nd, 1947. The point of the flight was to prove that it could maintain its position in the air – and that Howard Hughes had not simply wasted millions of US dollars! It was only flown once, and can now be found at an aviation museum in Oregon.
10. The Aviator himself.
If you’d like to learn more about Howard Hughes, the 2004 film, “The Aviator,” directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, depicts his life, achievements, highs, and lows. He was a fairly complex character!
FAQs about Howard Hughes
What caused Howard Hughes’ death?
Howard Hughes died from renal failure back in 1976. He died on his airplane, on his way from Acapulco to Houston.
What is Howard Hughes most famous for?
Although Howard Hughes is known for a great many things, he is most well known for his flight records. His most famous set record was his around-the-world flight, in which he flew an airplane over land traveling at 352 miles per hour.
How accurate is the movie “The Aviator”?
Many of the events depicted in The Aviator were indeed based on real events during Howard Hughes’s life. However, in order to dramatize the movie, some of the events were emphasized and even shown out of order.
Do you know any fun facts about Howard Hughes? Share them in the comments below!