It seems Howard Hughes was not the only billionaire with a pathological phobia of germs - now the New York property magnate Donald Trump has confessed to a morbid fear of shaking hands with teachers.
In a bizarre blog which he keeps on the website of his characteristically self-effacing "Trump university", the tycoon wrote: "I don't like to shake hands. You just never know what that person did with his or her hand right before it was offered to you to shake."
Apparently referring to recent research carried out at Arizona university, which found that schools were the most bacteria-laden workplaces, Mr Trump said he recoils from school staff.
"I'm going to do everything in my power not to shake hands with teachers.
According to a new study, they have the germiest jobs, with 17,000 germs per square inch on their desks. That's 10 times the germ rate of other professions."