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World-famed eccentric aviator, movie producer and recluse, Howard Hughes was born in Houston, the only son of Howard R. Hughes, Sr., a founder of Hughes Tool Co., and Allene Gano Hughes. Infatuated with aviation and motion pictures, Howard Jr. flew around the world in 1938. His hit movie Hell’s Angels was a tale of aviation. During World War II Hughes built a huge plywood military aircraft, known as the Spruce Goose, that he flew just one time. Afflicted with a fear of germs and disease, Hughes eventually withdrew from the world, living as a recluse in resort hotels. Emaciated and mortally ill, he died April 5, 1976, in an airplane on a flight from Acapulco to Houston, where he was headed for medical treatment. Because Hughes left no will, a struggle ensued over his $2 billion estate. Eventually it went to relatives, most of whom he had never known.