Howard Hughes: The Autobiography

Howard Hughes: The Autobiography

Clifford Irving

Language: English

Pages: 311


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wealth. Influence. Magnetism. Mystery. In twentieth century America, one man alone embodied all these qualities in their purest form. During a life which read like the wildest imaginings of a Hollywood scriptwriter, Howard Hughes - billionaire tycoon, pioneer aviator, playboy, eccentric and movie mogul - became a totem of fascination around the globe. In his twilight years, the mystery surrounding him intensified when he became a total recluse, hiding himself away in shady hotel suites for more than a decade. Some believed him to be dead; others thought he had gone crazy. Few really knew the truth - just as Hughes preferred.The ambiguity surrounding him spawned one of the first modern media obsessions. Speculation abounded, from the business pages of broadsheets through international magazine articles down to the sidewalk opinion-makers. And unsurprisingly there were few books written about Hughes' fascinating life - a life which was rumoured to be on the brink of ruin. So New York author and journalist Clifford Irving set out to do what no one else had done before.In late 1970, Irving ran into an old friend and fellow scribe, Richard Suskind. The two men struck up a conversation about the legendary Hughes, whose recent shadowy globetrotting had caused a sensation in newspapers around the world. It was this conversation that gave Irving the idea to write the 'autobiography' of Howard Hughes. Skillfully convincing the publishing world that he had the direct input of Hughes himself, his colleagues and friends, Irving wrote his book, interweaving accurate research with outlandish fiction, and sold it to a publisher for a record advance of $1m, hitting headlines around the world...But eventually the tall tale unravelled - the book was unmasked as a hoax. Irving went to prison and the sensational manuscript, described as 'the most famous unpublished book of the century', lay untouched for over 30 years - until now. For the first time, here is the incredible, unexpurgated life story of one of history's most intriguing figures.

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I happened to be asleep. I woke up quickly, alarmed, because no one who had that number would have called me at that hour unless it was on a terribly important matter. I grabbed the receiver and croaked, ‘Hello? What’s the matter?’ A voice said, ‘Knock, knock.’ I was too befuddled to say anything except, ‘Who’s there?’ ‘Howard.’ I recognized Bob Gross’s voice, but I thought I might be wrong, and I was still dazed, so I said: ‘Howard who?’ Bob Gross said, ‘Howard you like to go fuck

tried to pull Jones out of the wreck. But there wasn’t much left of him. And he could never tell us why he didn’t bail out. Those were the only deaths, but not the only crashes. The pilots themselves were calling it ‘The Suicide Club.’ I suppose the funniest crash, if you can call it funny when you’re facing death that way, was when Al Wilson bailed out over Hollywood. He was in a Fokker coming back to the San Fernando Valley. Los Angeles was socked in with fog and he decided he was over the

stories like that. I certainly considered it a trivial achievement. That wasn’t the design of my life – lifting up Jane Russell’s breasts. I had started work on the flying boat. That was important. That was something I believed in, even though it led to one of the biggest disasters of my life. 11 After a visit with President Roosevelt, Howard flies wartime combat missions out of England. IT WAS WARTIME. We were fighting Germany and Japan. Many things were happening in my life at the same

the government engineers came to the hangar for the first time, he’d look up. The tail assembly was nine or ten stories high. And the first thing the guy would say was, ‘Jesus Christ!’ Cost was another thorny issue. The government put up $18 million and I personally, out of my own pocket, chipped in an additional seven million. So the initial costs were around $25 million. Since then it’s been even more. But I want to point out to you that in 1949 the British built what was supposed to be the

face. I told them I had a plane and they laughed some more. They took me down to the station and next thing I knew I was in the goddamn bullpen with drunks lying next to me in their own vomit. I spent the night there, passed out on a bunk. In the morning I started to yell and make sense, and they began to do things. They called the Toolco man in Shreveport, a man named John Long, and he came down. He’d never seen me, of course, but he asked me some questions about Toolco and he realized

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