There's a strong possibility
that reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died of AIDS, according to Charles
Higham, author of "Howard Hughes, The Secret Life."
Higham presents startling
evidence that the AIDS virus may have existed prior to 1981, when it was first
reported. The mysterious death of a British soldier in 1959 may have been
the first AIDS casualty. The soldier's blood was frozen for laboratory
storage, years later when it was analyzed, it tested positive for HIV.
In the 1960's, a black male
prostitute, from in St. Louis, died of mysterious ailments, the doctors were
baffled and decided to store his blood and organs. Years later, the organs
and blood tested positive for HIV.
Hughes suffered from many
of the symptoms common to AIDS sufferers: dehydration, weight loss and fevers.
If he had AIDS, he may have contracted the deadly virus through the numerous
blood transfusions he received in the 1960's and 1970's according to Higham.
Higham also reveals Hughes
alleged fondness for S&M and his alleged homosexual involvements with actors
Tyrone Power and Cary Grant.
According to Higham, Hughes
introduction to homosexuality may have resulted in an alleged seduction by an
During his heyday, Hughes
was involved with numerous Hollywood starlets, including: Ava Gardner, Bette
Davis, Ginger Rogers and Katherine Hepburn. He would later marry actresses
Terry Moore and Jean Peters.
Throughout the book, Higham
paints a picture of a very disturbed, eccentric, and tormented man.