Howard Hughes is definitely classed as one of the wealthiest men ever together with being one of the most eccentric. He was born in Texas in 1905, in a small town called Humble where his father had already made his fortune by inventing and patenting a metal tip for drilling. At the tender age of 18 Howard Hughes became an orphan after first his mother and then father passed away. At the time he was due to inherit 75% of his father’s company which was a thriving tool company but Hughes went to court and fought with the rest of his family and managed to receive 100% of the value of the company which he then expanded into other fields.
At a the very tender age of 19, Hughes married his first wife and they moved to Hollywood where he became enchanted with the world of movies and in fact set up his own movie production company which after a few disasters became a profitable company with some well known movies including Two Arabian Nights. After his stint in Hollywood, Hughes became obsessed with aviation and started investing in airplanes and even worked on developing new and exciting aviation ideas. As a pilot himself he also flew around the world in one of his aircraft. By this time Hughes was on his second wife, an actress.
In the mid 1960's Howard Hughes moved to Las Vegas where he took over the floor of a well known hotel, the Dessert Inn. He moved his whole business nerve centre there and at the risk of being evicted by the hotel decided to by the hotel. This was the start of his obsession with the Las Vegas hotels and casinos. In the following year he acquired another three of the top casino hotels in Las Vegas which included the well known Sands Hotel and Casino, the Castaways Hotel and Casino and the Silver Slipper hotel and casino. It was due to these acquisitions that the Corporate Gaming Act was instituted whereby individual licenses were no longer needed for casinos and they could be given corporately for groups of casinos. Howard Hughes entry into the world of gambling by his acquisition of so many casinos helped to bring about the acceptance and legitimization of gambling in the US.
From the late 1960's onwards, Howard Hughes lived his life as a recluse on the floors of his hotel rooms in Las Vegas where he was known to be a full supporter of the world of gambling. He can definitely be credited with the expansion of the world wide land casino and of course the development of Las Vegas which became the centre of land based gambling and still is today. In the early 1970's Hughes second wife divorced him and from then on he lived his life traveling from country to country but still supporting his many business especially the casinos. In 1976 Hughes passed away while on one of his private jets flying from city to city. Howard Hughes is best remembered for a number of great achievements including his development of the aviation and movie industry together with the development and acceptance of gambling as a pastime with his acquisition and development of casinos. Although eccentric, Howard Hughes made a big impact on the world.