Business: A Midnight Ride with Howard Hughes

The last journalist known to have met and talked -with Howard Hughes is TIME'S Frank McCulloch. The year was 1958. McCulloch, then Time-Life bureau chief in Los Angeles, was asked by editors in New York to interview Hughes about his difficulties in raising money to buy some of the first jets for Trans World Airlines. It seemed an impossible assignment: Hughes had not dealt personally with any journalist−or with many of his own $100,000-a-year executives−in more than a decade. McCulloch tried anyway, and succeeded. Now TIME'S New York bureau chief, he recalls what happened:

I ASSEMBLED a list of about 50 questions,...

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