LOCAL NEWS

Man Who Claimed Howard Hughes Wrote Him Into Will Has Died

Dec 10, 2018, 11:39 AM
Melvin Dummar. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News...
Melvin Dummar. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah man who repeatedly made headlines around the world in the 1970s has died.

Melvin Dummar was a gas-station operator in Box Elder County in 1976 when he suddenly seemed to be on the verge of becoming a multi-millionaire. He was named an heir to the fortune of eccentric and secretive billionaire Howard Hughes.

Dummar’s name was contained in a handwritten will discovered in the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dummar’s story — told in the Oscar-winning film, “Melvin and Howard” — is that years before Hughes died, Dummar found him injured, lying in a remote Nevada desert. Dummar said he drove Hughes to Las Vegas, dropped him off and gave the billionaire a quarter to use a pay phone.

That story was legally discredited when a jury concluded the will was a hoax. However, many people still believe it.

Late in life, Dummar’s story was championed by retired FBI agent Gary Magnesen who investigated the case and wrote two books in Dummar’s defense.

Magnesen confirmed Dummar’s death to KSL TV and said Dummar “absolutely” stuck to his story right to the end.

Dummar was 74 and lived most recently in Pahrump, Nevada.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

3 vacant house fires spark in one week in SLC’s Ballpark neighborhood

Community frustrated after three fires broke out at the same row of vacant homes in Salt Lake City's Ballpark neighborhood in just the past week.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

Memorial set up for woman killed in Provo hit and run

Yellow ribbons lined a Holladay neighborhood Friday in support of a family who lost a loved one in a hit and run crash in Provo.
1 day ago
FILE...
Michael Locklear

With so many kids sick, some Utah pharmacies run out of liquid Tylenol, ibuprofen

As parents deal with sick children, some are also facing another challenge. Some common medications can be hard to find, including liquid Tylenol and ibuprofen.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Hardware WMA sleigh rides return after two-year hiatus

For the first time in two years, sleigh rides up the Blacksmith Fork Canyon are back — where families can see herds of elk and get a winter meal.
1 day ago
Shop small to support local businesses...
Tamara Vaifanua

How shopping small this holiday season makes a big impact at local stores

There’s a big push this holiday season to shop small, as in small business. The locally owned, Tutoring Toy, right off Foothill Boulevard in Salt Lake City, has a lot to offer.
1 day ago
FILE: Attorney General of Utah Sean Reyes arrives onstage to pre-record his address to the Republic...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Qatar paid for Utah AG Sean Reyes’ trip to see U.S. World Cup match

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Qatar, after the Middle Eastern country's government paid for his airfare, lodging and tickets to see the United States and England
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Man Who Claimed Howard Hughes Wrote Him Into Will Has Died