The director suffered a heart attack Thursday while taking a morning walk in New York City, where he was visiting family, a spokeswoman for Hughes told TVGuide.com.
Born on February 18th, 1950 in Michigan, Hughes began his career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago. He got his start in Hollywood with the screenplay for the 1983 Chevy Chase comedy National Lampoon's Vacation. He followed with Mr. Mom, which starred Michael Keaton.
Hughes made his directorial debut in 1984 with Sixteen Candles, which starred Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker, a young woman whose 16th birthday goes horribly wrong.
He re-teamed with Ringwald the following year for The Breakfast Club, which focused on five high school stereotypes who bond one day during detention, and again in Pretty in Pink, which he produced.
His other directing achievements in the '80s included Weird Science, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck.
Though he stepped away from directing in the early '90s, Hughes wrote such films as Home Alone, Beethoven, 101 Dalmatians, Flubber and most recently earned a story credit for the Owen Wilson comedy Drillbit Taylor.
He spent his time out of the spotlight with his family and maintained a farm in northern Illinois. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, two sons and four grandchildren.