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Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Howard Hughes established HHMI on December 17, 1953, using the profits of the Hughes Aircraft Company to fund projects. After Hughes died in 1976, the Institute underwent years of legal battles until 1984 when charter trustees, appointed by the Delaware Court of Chancery, sold the Hughes Aircraft Company, the Institute’s only asset. HHMI then refocused its attention to researching cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology. As of 2022, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the fifth wealthiest philanthropic foundation in the world, and the second wealthiest in the United States.


“History.” Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Accessed September 17, 2020.

“World’s 100 largest philanthropic foundations list.” ARCO Lab. April 2020. Accessed September 17, 2020.