Aviation: Celebrated Hermit

Everybody knows that Howard Hughes puts a high price on privacy, but no one ever guessed that it was worth $145 million to him. That is the sum that Trans World Airlines has sued him for—and the sum that a federal judge's ruling last week put in jeopardy after Hughes steadfastly refused to appear in court. Hughes's shyness, ruled the judge, was a "deliberate, willful default."

As the business world's most celebrated hermit, Hughes has been seen by no one in nine years except a handful of his most trusted associates. He controlled TWA until December 1960, when...

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