Enigmatic, reclusive multi-gajillionaire Howard Hughes made an undeniable impact on history. The same can be said of his impact on the history of Las Vegas. Hughes was a key figure in making Las Vegas what it is today, and his exploits and personality quirks have been chronicled extensively.
That, of course, does not deter us from sharing 10 surprising facts about this one-of-a-kind figure.
1. Hughes suffered 14 serious head injuries during his lifetime.
2. During his later years, Howard Hughes stored his urine in jars. (Bonus: He also wore Kleenex boxes as slippers because he feared germs.)
3. Howard Hughes bought Vegas TV station KLAS so they’d show movies all night. Hughes needed something to watch because he was an insomniac.
4. He was obsessed with peas. He used a special fork to arrange them according to size.
5. Hughes surrounded himself with Mormons because he felt that they were the only people he could trust.
6. To prevent germs, Howard Hughes insisted upon a “safe zone” of four feet around himself which no one could enter.
7. Howard Hughes had a morbid fear of pollution and radiation.
8. Howard Hughes had an employee whose only job was to catch flies. He couldn’t swat them because he feared it would spread germs.
9. During one reclusive stretch, Hughes lived for five months in a screening studio in Hollywood. During that time, he ate and drank exclusively Hershey Bars, pecans and milk.
10. Toward the end of his life, Hughes had his nails cut just once a year.