Boldly signed slip of paper "Howard Hughes", in black fountain pen ink. Signature of Howard Hughes, conservation framed in gilt wood, with vintage 1930 image of Hughes posing in front of his record-setting Northrup Gamma Monoplane. Hughes broke his first aviation record in the Gamma when he made the west-to-east American transcontinental flight in 9 hours, 26 minutes, and 10 seconds.
HOWARD ROBARD HUGHES, JR. (1905-1976) was an American aviator, engineer, industrialist, film producer, film director, philanthropist, and one of the wealthiest people in the world. He gained fame in the late 1920s as a maverick film producer, making big budget and often-controversial films like Hell's Angels, Scarface, and The Outlaw. Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history. He also set multiple world air speed records (for which he won many awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal), built the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 "Hercules" (better known to history as the "Spruce Goose") aircraft, and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines. Hughes is remembered today, however, for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hughes's legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.