Business: Howard Hughes' Messy Legacy

Shocking details surface about drugs and deceit

Even more than great wealth, Howard Hughes prized privacy. Now, 17 months after his death from kidney failure in an air ambulance over Texas, the last shrouds of secrecy that enveloped his reclusive existence are finally being peeled away. And the disclosures are adding zing to the already roughhouse brawl over Hughes' financial empire, which was valued at $2.3 billion in the late 1960s. It is being racked by internal strife, buffeted by lawsuits and threatened by a plethora of alleged Hughes wills.

Some shocking details of Hughes' hidden years leaked out earlier (TIME cover, Dec....

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