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Howard Hughes: Dead Prick?

Toward the end of his life, Howard Hughes bought up much of Las Vegas, where he lived alone in fear of germs. Hughes saved his urine, stopped bathing, never cut his hair or nails, and watched the same movies over and over, chief among them Ice Station Zebra.

When he finally expired in 1976, Hughes left no will (prompting 400 prospective heirs to contest his $2 billion estate). He did, however, leave something for his coroners: his body, they found, was filled with several dozen broken needles.

[After signing papers giving his executives power to run his company in 1971, Hughes spent several years shuttling between the Bahamas, England, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Why? His executives, intent on keeping him from meddling in the management of the business, had led him to believe that the IRS was ready to pounce if he returned to the United States.]

[Howard Hughes was among the inspirations for the character of Montgomery Burns on "The Simpsons."]

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