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Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., was born on December 24, 1905.
On May 3, 1966, Hughes was given a check for $546,549,771.00 for the sale of 78% of his TWA stock. This transaction made Hughes a billionaire and the richest man in the world.
Hughes rarely gambled, didn't drink, and didn't believe in prostitution. However, between 1966 and 1968, Hughes bought the Desert Inn, Sands, Castaways, New Frontier, and Silver Slipper on the Strip. He then bought Harold's Club in Reno for $10.5 million. By 1971, it is estimated that over 15% of Nevada's gambling revenue was passing through the hands of this man. Apparently at Sands shortly after he bought it, Hughes was approached by members of a mob. He was told they didn't like him and it may be in his best interest to find another area to buy. Hughes responded: "You ruined downtown and you can have it. You will not do it to the Strip and I am just the one to make sure of it. Make me leave."
The rules of Hughes resorts changed the way the Strip was seen. At many Las Vegas hotels, casino bosses maintained a preferred list of call girls, who could be placed at the disposal of high rollers. Word was quietly passed that the girlie trade would no longer be allowed on any of Hughes' properties.
"His coming here did things for our state image that a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign couldn't have achieved. He has given Nevada gaming instant respectability." - Governor Paul Laxalt
In Hollywood Hughes was seen with some of the most beautiful women in the world including Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Ava Gardner, Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havillan, and Katharine Hepburn.
Hughes died on April 5, 1976 and was Buried at Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas.
Hughes once lost $160,000 at the casino tables. He then spent the next eight hours, gambling non-stop until he won it back. When he got up to leave, he was asked why he was leaving when his luck had turned good. Hughes looked at the man and stated:
"I just wanted to prove that I could win it back. I won it back and now I'm leaving."