About this Famous Person
American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist
Source : Tim DOWLING
Hughes' birthplace is recorded as either Humble or Houston, Texas. The date is also uncertain, though Hughes claimed his birthday was Christmas Eve. A 1941 affidavit birth certificate of Hughes signed by his aunt Annette Gano Lummis and Estelle Boughton Sharp states he was born on December 24, 1905, in Harris County, Texas.[N 1] However, his baptismal record of October 7, 1906, in the parish register of St. John's Episcopal Church, in Keokuk, Iowa, has his birth listed as September 24, 1905, without reference to the place of birth.
His parents were Allene Stone Gano (a descendant of Owen Tudor, second husband of Catherine of Valois, Dowager Queen of England) and Howard R. Hughes, Sr., who patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places. Howard R. Hughes, Sr. made the shrewd and lucrative decision to commercialize the invention by leasing the bits instead of selling them, and founded the Hughes Tool Company in 1909.
Showing great aptitude in engineering at an early age, Hughes built Houston's first radio transmitter when he was 11 years old. At 12, he was photographed in the local newspaper as being the first boy in Houston to have a "motorized" bicycle, which he had built himself from parts taken from his father's steam engine. He was an indifferent student with a liking for mathematics, flying, and things mechanical, taking his first flying lesson at 14 and later auditing math and aeronautical engineering courses at Caltech.
Allene Hughes died in March 1922 from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. In January 1924, Howard Hughes Sr. died of a heart attack. Their deaths apparently inspired Hughes to include the creation of a medical research laboratory in his will that he signed in 1925, at age 19. Because Howard Sr.'s will had not been updated since Allene's death, Hughes inherited 75 percent of the family fortune. On his 19th birthday, Hughes was declared an emancipated minor, enabling him to take full control of his legacy.
Hughes was an outstanding and enthusiastic golfer from a young age, often scoring near par figures, and held a handicap of three during his twenties. He played frequently with top players, including Gene Sarazen. Hughes rarely played competitively, and gradually gave up his interest in the sport.
Hughes dropped out of Rice University shortly after his father's death. On June 1, 1925, he married Ella Botts Rice (1925–1929), daughter of David Rice and Martha Lawson Botts of Houston, Texas. They moved to Los Angeles, where he hoped to make a name for himself making movies.