A Letter From The Publisher, Jan. 24, 1972

EVEN before he went into seclusion, Howard Hughes posed unusual challenges for newsmen. In 1944, for instance, he consented, through an intermediary, to a telephone interview with Robert Elson, then in our Washington bureau. Hughes insisted that when he called, Elson was to identify himself by saying: "Hello, Mr. Howard Hughes. How was the weather?" Trouble was, Elson forgot the code question. This necessitated a new round of calls before Hughes was convinced that Elson was not an impostor. In 1948, when we did a cover story on Hughes, he did utter one...

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