Another time, he became obsessed with the film Ice Station Zebra , and had it run on a continuous loop in his home. According to his aides, he watched it times. Hughes insisted on using tissues to pick up objects to insulate himself from germs. He would also notice dust, stains, or other imperfections on people's clothes and demand that they take care of them.
Once one of the most visible men in America, Hughes ultimately vanished from public view, although tabloids continued to follow rumors of his behavior and whereabouts. He was reported to be terminally ill, mentally unstable, or even dead. Injuries from numerous aircraft crashes caused Hughes to spend much of his later life in pain, and he eventually became addicted to codeine , which he injected intramuscularly. The wealthy and aging Hughes, accompanied by his entourage of personal aides, began moving from one hotel to another, always taking up residence in the top floor penthouse.
Because he refused to leave the hotel and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early The hotel's eighth floor became the nerve center of Hughes' empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became his personal residence. Between and , he bought several other hotel-casinos, including the Castaways , New Frontier , the Landmark Hotel and Casino , and the Sands.
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After Hughes left the Desert Inn, hotel employees discovered that his drapes had not been opened during the time he lived there and had rotted through. Hughes wanted to change the image of Las Vegas to something more glamorous. As Hughes wrote in a memo to an aide, "I like to think of Las Vegas in terms of a well-dressed man in a dinner jacket and a beautifully jeweled and furred female getting out of an expensive car.
Hughes' considerable business holdings were overseen by a small panel unofficially dubbed "The Mormon Mafia" because of the many Latter-day Saints on the committee, led by Frank William Gay. For example, Hughes once became fond of Baskin-Robbins ' banana nut ice cream, so his aides sought to secure a bulk shipment for him, only to discover that Baskin-Robbins had discontinued the flavor. They put in a request for the smallest amount the company could provide for a special order, gallons 1, L , and had it shipped from Los Angeles.
A few days after the order arrived, Hughes announced he was tired of banana nut and wanted only French vanilla ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free banana nut ice cream to casino customers for a year. It is most likely true. As an owner of several major Las Vegas businesses, Hughes wielded much political and economic influence in Nevada and elsewhere. During the s and early s, he disapproved of underground nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site.
Hughes was concerned about the risk from residual nuclear radiation , and attempted to halt the tests. When the tests finally went through despite Hughes' efforts, the detonations were powerful enough that the entire hotel where he was staying trembled due to the shock waves.
Johnson and Richard Nixon. In , Jean Peters filed for divorce. The two had not lived together for many years. Hughes offered her a settlement of over a million dollars, but she declined it. Hughes did not insist on a confidentiality agreement from Peters as a condition of the divorce. Aides reported that Hughes never spoke ill of her. She refused to discuss her life with Hughes and declined several lucrative offers from publishers and biographers. Peters would state only that she had not seen Hughes for several years before their divorce and had only dealt with him by phone.
Hughes was living in the Intercontinental Hotel near Lake Managua in Nicaragua, seeking privacy and security,  when a magnitude 6. As a precaution, Hughes moved first to a rather large tent, facing the hotel, then after a few days there to the Nicaraguan National Palace and stayed there as a guest of Anastasio Somoza Debayle before leaving for Florida on a private jet the following day.
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In , author Clifford Irving caused a media sensation when he claimed he had co-written an authorized autobiography of Hughes. Hughes was so reclusive that he did not immediately publicly refute Irving's statement, leading many to believe the Irving book was genuine. However, before the book's publication, Hughes finally denounced Irving in a teleconference and the entire project was eventually exposed as a hoax. The film The Hoax , starring Richard Gere , is also based on these events. Hughes was reported to have died on April 5, , at 1: Other accounts indicate that he died on the flight from Freeport , Grand Bahama , to Houston.
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After receiving a call, his senior counsel, Frank P. Morse , ordered his staff to get his body on a plane and return him to the United States.
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It was common that foreign countries would hold a corpse as ransom so that an estate could not be settled. Morse ordered the pilots to announce Hughes' death once they entered U. His reclusiveness and possible drug use made him practically unrecognizable. Conover, was used when his body arrived at a morgue in Houston on the day of his death. A subsequent autopsy recorded kidney failure as the cause of death.
He suffered from malnutrition. While his kidneys were damaged, his other internal organs, including his brain, were deemed perfectly healthy. Hughes is buried next to his parents at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. In this will, Hughes left his entire estate to the Hughes Medical Institute, as he had no connection to family and was seriously ill. This is contrary to the many wills that have surfaced after his death. The original will that included payments to aides never surfaced. It was apparently in a home surrounding the Desert Inn Golf Course belonging to the mother of an assistant.
He had no desire to leave any money to family, aides or churches, including William Gay and Frank Morse. Morse is still the attorney of record for Hughes.
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The man asked for a ride to Vegas. Dropping him off at the Sands Hotel , Dummar said the man told him that he was Hughes. Dummar later claimed that days after Hughes' death a "mysterious man" appeared at his gas station, leaving an envelope containing the will on his desk. Unsure if the will was genuine and unsure of what to do, Dummar left the will at the LDS Church office.
In , a Nevada court ruled the Mormon Will a forgery, and officially declared that Hughes had died intestate without a valid will. Dummar's story was later adapted into Jonathan Demme 's film Melvin and Howard in The court rejected suits by the states of California and Texas that claimed they were owed inheritance tax. In Hughes' estate paid an undisclosed amount to Terry Moore , who claimed she and Hughes had secretly married on a yacht in international waters off Mexico in and never divorced. Moore never produced proof of a marriage, but her book, The Beauty and the Billionaire, became a bestseller.
The collection consists of over items including 35mm and 16mm elements of feature films, documentaries, and television programs made or accumulated by Hughes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Humble, Texas , U. Houston, Texas , U.
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