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Dudley C. Sharp > Air Force Historical Support Division > Fact SheetsDudley Crawford Sharp (March 16, 1905 – May 17, 1987) was Secretary of the Air Force from December 11, 1959 until January 20, 1961, under president Dwight D. Eisenhower. One of the most important male affairs of Howard Hughes was Dudley Sharp, who was later involved in an affair with Howard’s doting mother, who became pregnant by Dudley. Based in Houston, Allene (Howard’s mother) died from complications of the pregnancy, and a day later Dudley, Howard's boyfriend from just a few years before, attempted suicide. Howard was sixteen. Sharp later suffered the humiliation of having to ask Howard for money in order to continue his studies at Princeton. Hughes refused. Dudley Sharp later married and became U.S. Secretary of the Air Force under Eisenhower.

Born in Houston, Texas, Sharp was the son of Walter Benona Sharp. He graduated from Princeton University in 1928 and joined the Mission Manufacturing Company of Houston, holding many positions within the firm. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945. In 1955, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Materiel. Sharp was appointed Under Secretary of the Air Force in August 1959 and on December 11, 1959, he became Secretary of the Air Force and served until 1961. Sharp was a friend from childhood of Howard Robard Hughes Jr. Dudley met Howard because both Howard and Dudley's fathers were business partners in the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company in Houston.

Sharp was married to Tina Cleveland, daughter of Justina Latham and W. C. Cleveland of Houston. He died on May 17, 1987. He was 82 years old and lived in Houston, Texas.[1]


Scott, Vera Prasilova, 1899-1996 (photographer). "Dudley C. Sharp, Tina Cleveland, and Dudley Sharp Jr.." (1931) Rice University: https://hdl.handle.net/1911/63710.


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