Howard Hughes Net Worth, Achievement and Personal Life

admin March 5, 2022
Updated 2023/05/25 at 9:28 AM
Howard Hughes Net Worth

Howard Hughes Net Worth  $11 Billion

Popular Name:Howard Hughes
Real Name:Howard Robard Hughes Jr.
Birth Date:December 24, 1905
Birth Place:
Humble, Texas, United States
Age:Died on April 5, 1976 (aged 70)
Height:193 cm
Weight:82 kg
Marital Status:Divorced
Ella Botts Rice ​(m. 1925; div. 1929)​
Jean Peters ​(m. 1957; div. 1971)
Profession:Businessman, Engineer, Aviator, Inventor, Investor, Film Producer
Years active:1926–1976
Net Worth:$11 Billion
Last Updated:2022


Howard Hughes Jr. is the name of a legendary American icon who was known for his many talents and business interests.

As one of the most successful and influential people of his era, he made his wealth as a business magnate, film producer, aviator, investor, aerospace engineer, and a known philanthropist.

He inherited his family’s oil tool business and diversified into other investments which paid off, including films, through which he gained eminence in Hollywood starting from the 1920s, making big-budget films, such as “The Outlaw”, “Scarface”, “The Racket”, and “Hell’s Angels”.

Hughes is considered one of America’s most significant aviators in history. Apart from designing and building planes, he put his own life on the line several times, testing his inventions and setting new airspeed records.

He acquired Trans World Airlines and expanded the venture beyond expectation, until its merger with American Airlines. He also instituted the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Miami, Florida.

His business aside, this man is also remembered for his reclusive lifestyle and eccentric behavior in his later life, partially caused by chronic pain and worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Hughes was one of the richest men on earth at the time of his passing in the year 1976. More details follow below.

Early Life: Childhood & Education

He was born Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. to Howard Robard Hughes, Sr., and his wife, Allene Stone Gano, on December 24, 1905, in Humble, Texas, United States.

During his childhood days, he showed great interest in engineering and built the first radio transmitter in Houston.

He was barely 12 years old when he constructed a motorized bicycle. From age 14, he started showing interest in mathematics and flying, and also took flying lessons.

After his mother died in 1922, his father followed suit two years later, leaving him in control of 75 percent of the family fortune. He was 19 years old when he took over his family’s business.

Professional Life: Multiple Careers

Wanting to make a name for himself in film, Hughes moved to Los Angeles, where he failed on his first attempt. He then registered financial success after he released the two films, “Everybody’s Acting” and “Two Arabian Knights”, with the latter receiving an Academy Award for ‘Best Comedy Direction.

His films “The Racket” and “The Front Page” were both nominated for the Oscars. He then spent $3.8 million to produce the flying film, “Hell’s Angels” (1930), it earned him nearly $8 million above production and advertising costs in addition to earning an Academy Award nomination.

In 1932, Howard Hughes opened the Hughes Aircraft Company in California. He got a job at American Airlines as a baggage handler and became a co-pilot within weeks.

On September 13, 1935, in the Silver Bullet, the world’s fastest plane, built by Hughes Aircraft, he set a new land speed record of 352.46 M.P.H. at Santa Ana, California.

Three years later he flew around the world in a record three days with four crewmen, in a Lockheed 14 twin-engine transport Model.

In 1939, he quietly bought a majority share of Trans World Airlines stock for nearly $7 million and took control of the business, but was forced by the courts to sell his shares later.

He took control of RKO Pictures which went bankrupt because of his fickle management style. He sold the company for $25 million in 1955 to the General Tire and Rubber Company.

Achievements: Awards & Honors

In 1939, Mr. Hughes received the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his contributions to advancing the science of aviation.

The following year, his outstanding contributions as a pilot or test personnel to the advancement of science and technology, arts, and aeronautics, earned him the Octave Chanute Award.

Between 1952 and 2003, he was inducted into the Nevada Business Hall Of Fame, International Aerospace Hall Of Fame, and Aviation Hall Of Fame, the first two posthumously.

Personal Life: Family & Legacy

Howard Hughes married twice: first to Ella Rice and then to Jean Peters. He dated many female celebrities, including Ginger Rogers, Gene Tierney, Billie Dove, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Olivia de Havilland.

He started displaying signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the 1930s, and his condition only worsened with time.

During his time experimenting with airplanes, he had accidents numerous times and this left him in pain and physically dependent. As he aged, he became reclusive and eccentric.

Howard Hughes’s name and inventions still live on decades after his death. Upon his death, he donated all of his shares in Hughes Aircraft to establish The Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

In 1985, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold all of its interest in Hughes Aircraft to General Motors for about $5.2 billion in cash and stock.

This instantly turned the medical institute into one of the world’s largest private foundations. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is one of the world’s largest non-governmental funding organizations for medical and biological research. Its endowment is valued at $17 billion today.

Howard Hughes Net Worth: Salary, Assets, Income Sources

As an investor, inventor, aviator, engineer, and businessman, Mr. Howard Hughes was able to assemble a net worth equal to $11 billion at the time he died ($2.5 billion in 1976).

He inherited a fortune when his father died and used it to launch a career directing and producing movies. From there, he diversified into other businesses and was able to continually build up his fortune until his 70s.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Hughes left behind an estate valued at $2.5 billion (the same as $11 billion in today’s dollars).

After several cases and over 400 people going forward to claim part of his will, a judge finally ruled that he died without a valid will and his fortune was therefore split up among 22 cousins as he had no heir.

Recent News

Share this Article
1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *