Former Utah man central to Howard Hughes inheritance fight dies

Former Utah man central to Howard Hughes inheritance fight dies

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Melvin Dummar, a delivery driver who claimed that billionaire Howard Hughes left a handwritten will bequeathing him $156 million when he died in 1976, has died in rural Nevada.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said Dummar died Sunday under hospice care. He was 74.

Dummar’s brother, Ray Dummar, of Gabbs, Nevada, says Melvin Dummar battled cancer for many years.

Melvin Dummar previously lived in Ogden and Brigham City, Utah, and was a gas station attendant in Willard.

Melvin Dummar’s plight was depicted in the film "Melvin and Howard" in 1980. Jason Robards and Mary Steenburgen won best supporting actor Oscars.

Battles over the authenticity of the so-called "Mormon will" lasted more than a decade.

Dummar maintained that he found Hughes on a Nevada desert road in 1967 and drove him to Las Vegas.

In 1978, a Nevada court ruled the will was a fake.

Standard-Examiner reporter Mark Shenefelt contributed to this report.

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