F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota in 1896. He was named after his distant
relative Francis Scott Key, the author of the star-spangled banner. After High School, he went
to Princeton where he wrote for a few of the publications on campus. Fitzgerald
didn't pay much attention to his studies at Princeton and never graduated. He joined
the Army in 1917 and while stationed in Alabama, met his future wife Zelda.
World War I was finished before Fitzgerald was sent overseas and was discharged in 1919.
He wrote his first novel, "This Side of Paradise," in Minnesota and it brought him enough
acclaim and wealth to finally marry Zelda, who had come from a rich family and demanded a
Fitzgerald soon became wealthy and indulged in drinking and carousing to a fair degree
while living on Long Island and working on his next novel. The Fitzgeralds lived a
lavish lifestyle and soon spent all the money that Scott's first novel had earned them.
After crawling out of debt by writing some short stories, Fitzgerald moved to Paris
where he could live at less expense and work on his next novel. While in Paris in 1924,
Fitzgerald finished his most well known and successful work, The Great Gatsby.(7)
Fitzgerald became frineds with the circle of ex-patriate writers in Paris and in
particular with Ernest Hemingway. They met in Harry's Bar and Fitzgerald , who had
already been established as a great author, did everything he could to help out
the fledgling Hemingway.(8) Fitzgerald even got his publisher Scribner to take
some of Hemingway's work and he eventually became Hemingway's publisher.(3)
Fitzgerald's alcoholism and wild, playboy lifestyle fit right in with the "Lost
Generation. He remained in Europe until 1926. Zelda began to have mental problems and
eventually went crazy and was commited to a sanitarium. Fitzgerald lived out
his remaining years in Hollywood as a screen writer until he died at 44 from
a heart attack.
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