DescriptionOwn the Legendary Howard Hughes' Brown Hat It looks ordinary enough at first. A vintage brown hat made by Johnson Brothers of London for Brooks Brothers. Then you notice the initials embossed into the headband, "HRH," and you realize that they stand for Howard Robard Hughes. If you've seen The Aviator, it hits you that Leonardo DiCaprio, portraying Hughes, wears a copy of this very hat in several scenes of that movie. Then you fully realize that this is the hat, the hat that one of the most interesting, wealthy and enigmatic figures of the 20th century often wore. Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was born at Houston, Texas in 1905, the son of Howard Robard Hughes, Sr., founder of Hughes Tool Company, and Allene (Gano) Hughes, a doting mother who had a phobia about germs, rushing young Howard to the doctor with every sniffle and treating his young playmates as disease carriers, discouraging her son from socializing. When Howard, Jr. was about four years old, something happened that would eventually shape his life; Howard, Sr. and his partner Walter Sharp patented a drill bit. The first bit that could easily penetrate solid rock, it revolutionized oil drilling, and made Hughes and Sharp rich. Howard grew up in the upper crust of Houston society and attended private school in Boston where he did better in golf than he did in his classwork. A plane ride with his father during this period was an experience that stimulated a life-long love of aviation. In 1922, Hughes' mother died. While attending Rice Institute (now University) two years later, his father died suddenly and, at age eighteen, Howard received access to a large part of the family estate and dropped out of Rice. He quarreled with his family and had company lawyers buy out his relatives. Howard was granted legal adulthood on December 26, 1924, and took control of the tool company. On June 1, 1925, he married Houston socialite Ella Rice. The next few years Hughes traveled to Hollywood to make movies. An early "talkie" titled Hell's Angels (1930) that Hughes wrote and directed was about World War I flying aces. It was at this point that he took flying lessons and obtained his pilot's license. He would spend much of the next two decades flying, racing, designing and manufacturing aircraft. It was during this period that Hughes often wore the famous hat offered here. There are numerous photos of him wearing it while in or next to his beloved airplanes. It ended up in the possession of Hughes' friend and trusted Hughes Tool Company executive, Bob Kuldell. Last offered to the public at a May 21, 1989 auction by Simpson's Auction Galleries in Houston, this is the only Howard Hughes hat known to be in private hands and it could very well be in your hands, if you're the lucky winning bidder of this lot. Fine condition, worthy of inclusion in the finest collection or museum.
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