Howard Hughes: The Secret Life

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Putnam's, 1993 - 368 pages
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The best-selling biographer of the Duchess of Windsor and Errol Flynn unveils the truth behind one of the most enigmatic personalities of the century.
At last, the real story of the dazzling wealth, ruthless power, and seductive charms of Howard Hughes - a man the world has never fully known. While other biographers have revealed the building of Hughes's empire and some of his more infamous schemes of corruption, none until now has ever exposed the most compelling aspect of Hughes the man - his secret private life.
Behind the facade of success, money, and excitement - from daring aviation feats, scandalous movie-making, and often erratic investing - Howard Hughes was a profoundly disturbed man, torn between his love for women and his heretofore secret homosexuality. He manipulated men and women into his bed as brutally as he swung any business deal. Among the revelations of this book: Hughes's seduction in his teens by his uncle Rupert, a famed novelist and playwright. Hughes became bisexual, and was later to have affairs with several male stars, including Cary Grant and Tyrone Power; his buying movie star Billie Dove from her husband for $325,000 ($7 million in today's money). When her career faltered in pictures he produced, he dropped her; his concurrent affairs with Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn (with whom he was living), and the then married Bette Davis; his dangerous forays into sadomasochism while he was engaged in a torrid affair with Linda Darnell; his obsession for and eventual marriage to actress Jean Peters, whom he persuaded to leave war hero Audie Murphy, only to emotionally abandon her for years; his financial involvement with Richard Nixon, and his direct involvement in Watergate; the events leading up to his death, and the possibility that Hughes, who had massive blood transfusions in the 1960s and 1970s, was an early victim of AIDS.
With these and other astonishing disclosures drawn from exclusive sources, Charles Higham has written a riveting, disturbing, always fascinating account of a man who - until nowhas been only a mystery.

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User Review  - mahallett - LibraryThing

he reminds me of Donald trump. "It's all about me." I didn't know he was bisexual, that he might have died of aids. he never seemed to pay income tax. Read full review

HOWARD HUGHES: The Secret Life

User Review  - Kirkus

An outing of the billionaire closet bisexual by Higham, whose bios include lives of Cary Grant, Brando, Orson Welles, the Duchess of Windsor, and L.B. Mayer, among others. Higham does his research an ... Read full review


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