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Jack Real papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jack Real papers
    Inclusive Dates: 1932-2005
    Collection Number: mssReal
    Collector: Real, Jack G. (Jack Garrett)
    Extent: 21 boxes, 1 oversize folder, and 1 tube
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
    Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Jack Real papers consist of research material related to Howard Hughes’ biography. Also included are books, printed matter, photographs, and VHS belonging to Real and his career in the aerospace industry.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site .

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    Jack Real papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Betty O'Connor, July 2010.


    Jack Real was born on May 31, 1915 in Calumet, Michigan. He graduated from the Michigan Technological University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1937.
    From 1939 through 1971, Real worked for Lockheed-California Company designing, developing and testing numerous Lockheed aircrafts including the B-14 Hudson Bomber, Constellation, and AH-56A Cheyenne. In 1971, Real served as Senior Vice President of Aviation at Hughes Helicopters and became president in 1979. Real guided the successful AH-64 Apache helicopter program for the United States Army. After the acquisition of Hughes Helicopters by McDonnell Douglas, Real was named President and Chief Executive Officer of that company until his retirement in 1987. During his retirement, Real was instrumental in relocating the Hughes-H4 Hercules (Spruce Goose) to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, where he served as President from 1995 through 2001.
    Real met Howard Hughes in November 1957 while working at Lockheed-California Company. Real became Hughes' trusted friend and personal advisor until Hughes' death in 1976. Real published "The Asylum of Howard Hughes" where he details his 20-year friendship with Hughes including his death on board an aircraft en route to a hospital in Houston, Texas.
    Real passed away due to heart failure on September 6, 2005 in Mission Hills, California.

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of this collection appears to be material related to Jack Real’s research about his best friend, Howard Hughes. There are multiple drafts of "The Real Story" and a final draft of "Howard’s Last Best Friend," which appears to be an earlier version of "The Asylum of Howard Hughes," (2003). Other research material includes excerpts from various texts, newsletters, aircraft information, correspondence, permission requests, and feedback about the book. It also appears that Real also used the weekly agendas and memos from the Evergreen Aviation & Museum for his book as well.
    Cataloger's notes: Any drafts labeled "The Real Story" in the footnote are found in Box 8 and 9. The newspaper clippings that Real may have used for his book are found in Box 8 (2).
    The subject files also constitute a large part of this collection. Various material may be found in each subject file from correspondence, biographical data, printed matter, newsletters, technical data, and photographs. There are a few topics, such as the TriStar (Jet transport) and Constellation, which are found independently from the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation file.
    Also found in this collection are books, appointment books, and VHS belonging to Jack Real. There are also commemorative annual meeting books, programs, correspondence, and printed matter related to the Conquistadores del Cielo, a club for airline executives, where Real was a member.


    Arranged by genre.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Hughes, Howard, 1905-1976
    Real, Jack G. (Jack Garrett)

    Corporate Names

    Aero Club of Southern California
    Boeing Aerospace Company
    Conquistadores del Cielo
    Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    Hughes Aircraft Company
    Lockheed-California Company
    Lockheed Aircraft Corporation


    Aerospace industries
    Apache (Attack helicopter)
    Cheyenne (Attack helicopter)
    Constellation (Transport planes)
    Hughes Flying-boat (Seaplane)
    Military helicopters
    Transport planes
    TriStar (Jet transport)

    Geographic Areas

    Burbank (Los Angeles County, Calif.)
    McMinnville (Or.)


    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Drafts (documents)
    Letters (correspondence)
    Research (documents)
    Printed ephemera