Howard Hughes may not have spawned the term “eccentric billionaire,” but he certainly redefined it. His Christmas Eve birthday (which he also shares with former flame Ava Gardner) is just one of the many unusual elements about the man. Below are ten of his most fucked up actions amid incalculable others.
10) Flying a stunt plane knowing he was incapable of making a safe landing for the movie Hell’s Angels. Hughes volunteered to fly at a low altitude for a certain shot and ended up crashing.
9) Asking the staff of the Beverly Hills Hotel to hide roast beef sandwiches in trees so he could collect them in the middle of the night.
8) Having a phone booth installed in his room so the operator couldn’t direct his calls or know his business.
7) Being booked for negligent homicide after mowing down a pedestrian with his car in the summer of 1936.
6) Punching Ava Gardner in the face.
5) Wearing shoes that reeked so heavily that when he tried to sneak into the Hughes Aircraft building to observe his employees secretly, the engineers could immediately smell him.
4) Wearing tissues as slippers.
3) Employing someone whose sole job description was to catch flies.
2) Dying of kidney failure in spite of incessantly pissing in jars.
1) Enlisting the services of Mormons to care for him and his affairs in his declining years.
And so, while having a lot of money is nice, you can't put a price on sanity. Happy birthday, Howard Hughes.