- Historical event:
- 5 April 1976
- Howard Hughes, known from the film The Aviator, where he is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, died on this day in 1976. He left behind a fortune of 2.5 billion dollars, which was then disputed.
The famous Howard Hughes, after whom the film The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio was made, died on this day in 1976, at 13:27, while flying. That man, who is remembered as a director, pilot, film producer and business tycoon, had during his lifetime severe mental and physical problems.
Hughes was one of the richest people in the world. Both of his parents died before he was 19. He inherited a considerable fortune, and increased it through his investments. He financed the making of big-budget and controversial films, which even won Oscars, and in which the entire fleets with hundreds of planes took part.
Hughes designed new types of aircraft and flew them on test flights. He broke several world airspeed records. He is also known for having built the plane with the largest wingspan in history – the H-4 Hercules, with as many as eight engines.
It seems that Hughes suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder that forced him to become more and more withdrawn from the world. He would shut himself in a hotel room and watch movies. He would watch the same film for 150 times in a row. He was afraid of germs, so he touched objects using tissues.
In the last period of his life, he surrounded himself with Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), because they were the only ones he trusted, even though he was not a Mormon.
After he died on this day, he left behind a fortune of 2.5 billion dollars. Mormons from Salt Lake City brought to light his will, in which he gave $1.56 billion to various charitable organizations.
However, the will was eventually rejected by the Court, so Hughes’ tremendous estate was inherited by his relatives, twenty-two of them to be precise.