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    Description

    Howard Hughes Autograph Letter Signed "Howard." One yellow page from a legal pad, 8.5" x 13", n.p., dated with a different pen "10/8 - 2:45 P.M." In this letter, Howard Hughes seeks answers from one of his most trusted aides, Robert "Bob" Maheu. At the time, Hughes, one of the wealthiest men in the world, was in the process of acquiring a hotel and casino empire in Las Vegas, something he had begun in 1967 with the purchase of the Desert Inn. This letter reads in full:

    "I assume this is a different tract of land from the one about which we communicated last.

    Bob, please tell me what happened about the other area on which you and I communicated previously, and with respect to which option there was some misunderstanding.

    I would appreciate having the complete story regarding both deals.

    I am speaking of the option which you failed to exercise with my approval, and which you subsequently told me you were going got try to negotiate down to a lower price
    ."


    More Information:

    Howard Hughes' (1905-1976) bizarre behavior began as early as the 1930s when he was a Hollywood film producer and director. By the time this letter was written in 1968, Hughes, one of the wealthiest men alive, had completely disappeared from public view -- the "Invisible Billionaire," as Time magazine branded him. Because of his eccentric and reclusive nature, he surrounded himself with trustworthy aides who were able to carry out his directions concerning his numerous business ventures. One of his closest aides during the late 1960s was Robert Maheu, a former World War II FBI counter-espionage agent. After the war, Maheu, who had developed a talent for persuasion and diplomacy, started his own consultancy and worked as an operative for several clients around the world, including Howard Hughes. In 1961, Hughes convinced Maheu to work exclusively for him as one of his main aides and dealmakers with a salary of $520,000 and an unlimited expense account. Maheu once explained about their relationship, "He decided that he wanted me to become his alter ego so he would never have to make a public appearance." Over time, Hughes relied on Maheu more and more, often assigning the former FBI agent unusual projects. By the time this letter was written, Maheu was a trusted friend, but, because of Hughes' reclusive nature, the two had never met face-to-face; instead, they communicated by using these lined yellow legal-pad pages and the telephone. Their relationship, however, was becoming strained and completely ruptured in 1971 when Hughes fired Maheu following a complicated power struggle between Maheu and other Hughes' aides.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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