Rupert Hughes by James O. Kemm
A Hollywood Legend

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Synopsis

Rupert Hughes: A Hollywood Legend by James O. Kemm explores the life of the film pioneer, author, screenwriter, film director, composer, soldier, network radio commentator, wit and self-described poor uncle of a rich nephew. As uncle and mentor to the enigmatic Howard Hughes, Jr,. Rupert's role lends new intrigue to the legendary missing will and ensuing family debate. A charming and witty man who didn't quite fulfill his ambition to live a thousand years and a thousand lives, Rupert Hughes nevertheless packed an amazing number of accomplishments into his 84 years. Branded an iconoclast, the elder Hughes was involved in countless controversies, including a furor over his three-volume biography depicting George Washington as a human being rather than an idol. A strong opponent of censorship and a pioneer advocate of women's rights, Hughes urged reforms in working conditions and divorce laws. One of his more than 50 books (made into a silent motion picture) helped bring about the observance of Mother's Day. But his own personal life rivaled the turbulence of his famous nephew's: of his three marriages, the first ended in a much-publicized divorce; his second wife committed suicide, and his third wife died of an overdose of sleeping pills. His closest friends included humorist Will Rogers, movie producer Sam Goldwyn and actors Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks.
 

About James O. Kemm

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James O. Kemm, a Tulsa resident, retired here after a career in petroleum trade association management. A University of Missouri journalism graduate, he taught journalism at Rider College, worked as a newspaperman, and wrote Let's Talk Petroleum. He served as president of the Oklahoma Historical Society and was executive editor of the 1997 statewide Oklahoma Energy Centennial commemorative publication.
 
Published September 22, 1997 by Pomegranate Press. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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In his dull and thorough way, Kemm, a retired journalist and distant cousin of Hughes's, tries to make the case that posterity has been unfair to ""one of the most remarkable persons in the history of American literature and in the patriotic life of the nation."" But the plot of every Hughes work...

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In the late 1940s and through the McCarthy era, he was one of the most outspoken forces in Hollywood against those in the business whose views he considered ""communistic."" None of Hughes's own published writings are quoted here, and many unanswered questions are raised by mention of his three m...

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