Sunday, May 11, 2014

A2 Phonetic Reading: The Aviator

Read out loud the following text making sure of pronouncing the past tenses correctly.

HOWARD HUGHES (1905-1976): Biography of a Billionaire Aviator

Howard Hughes was born on 24th December, 1905 in Houston, Texas. He started school at the age of seven. When his father died in 1924, he left school. He inherited $750,000 and he became director of his father’s oil-drilling company. When he was 20, he married Ella Rice and two years later he went to Hollywood. In 1928 he produced a film and divorced his first wife. In 1930 he directed the film Hell’s Angels.

In 1933, when he worked as an airline pilot, he changed his name. He even built a plane. In 1935 he broke the world air-speed record flying at 352 miles per hour, and President Roosevelt gave him a special aviation award. In 1938 Hughes flew round the world in 91 hours, setting a new world record.

In the 1940s he designed and manufactured war planes; he designed a new bra for film-star Jane Russell, too. He started TWA (Trans World Airlines). In 1947 he crashed a new war plane and nearly died. In hospital, he designed a new bed. He flew a new 700-seat passenger plane. The following year he bought RKO Film Studio, which he sold in 1954. In 1957 he sold TWA for $546,000. That year he got married to 30-year-old actress Jean Peters and retired from public life only a few months later.

In 1966 he went to Las Vegas, where he bought a lot of casinos, clubs and hotels. (He didn’t smoke, drink or gamble.) In 1971, after 14 years of marriage, he divorced Jean Peters, his second wife. He gave $100,000 to President Nixon for the 1972 Election. Howard Hughes died in Acapulco, Mexico, on 5th April, 1976. He left a fortune of $2 billion. 

Martin Scorsese's film The Aviator, starring Leonardo di Caprio, was based on his exciting life.

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