Man Who Claimed Howard Hughes Wrote Him Into Will Has Died
Dec 10, 2018, 11:39 AM
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.