Francis Scott Fitzgerald was an American writer famous for his works dedicated to describing the Jazz Age. His most outstanding novel is The Great Gatsby. His unique style is appreciated all around the world. Despite his rather short and tragic life, he brought some masterpieces to us.
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Read the full F. Scott Fitzgerald’s biography prepared by our editorial team to find out more!
📈 F. Scott Fitzgerald: Timeline
Below is the timeline of F.S. Fitzgerald. It reflects the key events of the writer’s life.
❗ 9 Interesting Facts about F. Scott Fitzgerald
We have prepared some interesting facts about F. Scott Fitzgerald that you probably had no idea about!
- He was weirdly obsessed with recording his life in detail. The journal mainly was related to his writing career. However, some records are dedicated to describing his early years. Fitzgerald would note down all the details, like his height to the very first word he said and the time he fell in love with his future wife.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald never settled down. Every few years, he would move to a different city and even country, changing hotel rooms and rented places. It was affected by his wife’s health issues (the fresh air in Switzerland helped her). But also, Fitzgerald was trying to find a peaceful place for writing.
- He worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He worked for the MGM film studio and was helping with Gone with the Wind for two years. However, he was only credited once.
- The Great Gatsby wasn’t so successful at the beginning. Even his other two novels were perceived as better ones. The book only hit the readers after World War II.
- Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, was a flapper girl. She wasn’t afraid to smoke, joke, and drink in public. She was quite successful as a painter.
- He was named after a famous relative. Francis Scott Key is a very distant cousin of the author, though. He was also a writer but worked as a lawyer as well. He composed the text of The Star-Spangled Banner song and the creator of the National Anthem.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald struggled as a student. He was constantly getting low grades in both school and college. Not only was he skipping classes in Princeton, he almost dropped out once.
- He quit Princeton to serve in World War II but never made it to the battle. Just before he was supposed to be sent there, the war was over. However, he used that chance and produced another masterpiece, which would later become The Side of Paradise.
- He had a short and weird friendship with Hemingway. The two geniuses of writing spent a few years in the 1920s being friends. Later, though, they cut the connection and would even comment on each other with disgrace.
👪 F. Scott Fitzgerald: Early Life
There is no doubt about where F. Scott Fitzgerald was born since he was an American writer. However, to clear things up, it would be fair to note that his birthplace is St. Paul in Minnesota, where he would spend his childhood. And he was named in honor of his three times removed cousin on the father’s side, Francis Scott Key, a famous writer.
Now the only question is when F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. September 24, 1989, is the day that brought us such a talented novelist.
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Even though his father was a businessman, most of the family’s income was due to his mother’s relatives. Mollie came from an Irish family. They owned a successful business. Thanks to them, when F. Scott Fitzgerald was young, his family could afford to live in an upscale neighborhood.
After his father’s failed business, Fitzgerald moved the family to New York, where he started working as a salesman in 1898. A decade later, he was fired, and they all returned to St. Paul.
Scott Fitzgerald: Education
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s education started with prep school. He wasn’t the brightest student, despite his writing talent. In 1908, he was published for the first time in a school magazine. Due to his poor scores, his parents sent him to the Catholic school in New Jersey. With him dropping out of Princeton, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s education journey ended.
💑 Francis Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald
Some facts from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s biography remind one of the life of Gatsby quite a lot. The same can be said about the story of his relationship with Zelda.
They met in 1918 when Fitzgerald was based in Alabama. He fell in love with her and was ready for marriage. She refused, however. After being sent home from the army, he went to New York to earn some money. This way, the novelist was hoping to win Zelda as with enough money, he could provide her a lifestyle she was used to.
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It appeared, though, that the lady was tired of such a long wait and broke their engagement. The same year, Fitzgerald worked on redoing the piece he started in the war times. A bit later, it was published as This Side of Paradise. Only after that, Zelda Sayre agreed to marry the writer.
As the couple was leading a typical Roaring Twenties’ lifestyle, Zelda Fitzgerald was enjoying her image of a flapper girl. They were drinking, attending parties, and traveling. In particular, they enjoyed their trips through Europe.
They had to say goodbye to their fun lives without children. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda welcomed their daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, in 1921. However, it didn’t stop the young parent from heavy drinking, which later affected the writer’s reputation. The family faced issues with alcoholism and finances. To earn some money to keep their lifestyle going, the novelist was creating short stories. Popular magazines usually published them.
Everything became even worse when Zelda started having mental breakdowns in 1930. By that time, it had already become an issue. That seizure was so severe that she needed professional help. The next few years she would spend in specialized institutions in France, Switzerland, and the US.
Zelda’s last breakdown left her hospitalized until the end of her life. She died in a fire in 1948 in one of the hospitals.
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Fitzgerald didn’t leave his wife and tried his best to make her life more comfortable. At the same time, he was sacrificing his career because Zelda required much more attention in her state. Most of the family’s financial issues were also due to the treatment’s costs.
F Scott Fitzgerald’s First Novel
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel was This Side of Paradise. It met with huge success immediately. Published in 1920, it became F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first book that made him widely famous. Thomas Parke D’Invilliers appearing in the novel is also the writer’s pseudonym. He used it in the epigraph to The Great Gatsby.
👨 Later Years & Death
Up until F. Scott Fitzgerald’s death, he would stick to his writing. But, at the same time, he picked up some jobs in Hollywood. From 1927 to 1937, he was going there to work for different studios as a screenwriter. He needed that income to keep paying for Zelda’s care.
In 1937, he worked for MGM Studios on a contract, which was renewed for a year. Next time, Fitzgerald wasn’t so lucky, and they rejected him. Despite being married and taking care of Zelda, the novelist fell in love with Sheilah Graham. She was a columnist and stayed with him during his last years of life. It seems like Sheilah was the one who inspired Fitzgerald to continue writing.
He stayed in Hollywood and worked for the most famous and important film studios from time to time on a freelance basis. Also, he started working on the final novel, which he never finished. Unfortunately, when F. Scott Fitzgerald died, his fame was fading. The world had forgotten about him as a writer for a while until World War II.
How Did F. Scott Fitzgerald Die?
The way how F. Scott Fitzgerald died wasn’t as dramatic as Gatsby’s but was definitely caused by his lifestyle. At the age of 44, in 1940, the novelist fell dead from a heart attack. Many people suppose it was due to his heavy drinking since he developed many health issues in the previous years.