Monday, May 22, 2006

Weird people: a story of a weird man named Howard

Background
Howard Hughes was born in Texas in 1905. Raised by an overly obsessive mother who forced him to endure strange cleanliness rituals, douse himself with mineral oil daily, and forced him to stay away from other 'germ ridden' children, Howard had no other alternative than to be different. His mother died when he was 16 and his father perished 2 years later. The youth took over his father's company, the Hughes Tool Company and was immediately recognized for his brilliant business skills.

His Life
Bored with business, Howard became a movie producer and created such classics as Scarface, Hell's Angels, and The Outlaw. He turned his favorite hobby, flying airplanes into a lucrative business too forming the Hughes Aircraft Company. He quickly became the world's richest man.
But as Howard's riches grew, so did his eccentricities. After suffering several mental breakdowns in the 1950's, Howard began conducting all business activities through intermediaries, particularly Mormons who he considered the only people clean enough to be allowed in his presence.

His Eccentricities
His fear of people and the world around him lured him into purchasing his own hotel so he could remain isolated. Most of his time was spent watching old movies on a local TV station. When the station began airing alternative programming during the wee morning hours, Howard bought the TV stations so he could direct the programming.
His personal entourage was forced to wear white cotton gloves and masks and required to perform bizarre cleansing procedures every time they left and entered his room. He eventually eschewed clothing for sanitary reasons and began living the remaining years of his life naked. Lights were kept off to avoid contamination. Food consumption became scarce due to his fear of being poisoned. To ease the remaining pains of life, Howard turned to drugs.

His Death
At the end of his life, the 6'4" Hughes weighed a meager 90 pounds when he died at the age of 70 years old.

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