In His Own Words
Hughes did meet with Stephen White on at least two occasions during which Hughes offered detailed page by page comments. In the effort to assure that the corrections were made as stipulated by Hughes, a complete verbatim transcript was produced of the meetings, so that what was preserved is not simply an annotated manuscript or list of suggested changes, but a transcript of a conversation between Hughes and the writer in which Hughes discusses and elaborates on various aspects of this life and career, in his own words. It is the closest we have of an off-the-record interview, with Hughes commenting upon and reacting to many of the stories, rumors and legends that had already grown up around him by 1954. By this date Hughes had already withdrawn from the public eye, but not to the extent he would later when he allowed no contact with the media at all. This transcript is a curious document of Howard Hughes talking about Howard Hughes, before Howard Hughes withdrew completely into secrecy behind his army of agents and assistants. Hughes in this conversation was at times remarkably candid about some of the events of his life, at the same time displaying a growing obsession with protecting his reputation in aviation. Some of his quotes and comments made their way into the published article but many did not. What follows are excepts from these transcripts.