Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. When F. Scott Fitzgerald was 12, his family moved to St. Paul to live on his mother’s inheritance.
Fitzgerald was a bright, handsome and ambitious boy, the pride and joy of his parents and especially his mother.
After leaving school in 1913, Fitzgerald decided to stay in New Jersey to continue his artistic development at Princeton University, but he dropped out in 1917 to join the army.
Fitzgerald was a second lieutenant in the infantry and assigned to Camp Sheridan outside of Montgomery, Alabama. It was there that he met and fell in love with a beautiful 18-year-old girl named Zelda Sayre, the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.
The war ended in 1919, and upon his discharge he moved to New York City hoping to launch a career in advertising lucrative enough to convince Zelda to marry him. He quit his job after only a few months, however, and returned to St. Paul to rewrite his novel. One week after his first novel’s publication, he married Zelda Sayre in New York. They had one child, a daughter named Frances Scott Fitzgerald, born in 1921.
Fitzgerald embraced his new celebrity status and embarked on an extravagant lifestyle that earned him a reputation as a playboy and hindered his reputation as a serious literary writer. Beginning in 1920 and continuing throughout the rest of his career, Fitzgerald supported himself financially by writing great numbers of short stories for popular publications. His most famous is probably ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’
Seeking a change of scenery to spark his creativity, Fitzgerald moved to France, and it was therethat he wrote his greatest novel, ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is narrated by Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner who moves into the town of West Egg on Long Island, next door to a mansion owned by the wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby. The novel follows Nick and Gatsby’s strange friendship and Gatsby’s pursuit of a married woman named Daisy. With its beautiful narrative, and critique of materialism, love and the American Dream, The Great Gatsby is considered Fitzgerald’s finest work. Although the book was well received when it was published, it was not until the 1950s and 1960s, long after Fitzgerald’s death, that it achieved its stature as the definitive portrait of the “Roaring Twenties” and one of the greatest American novels ever written.
After he completed The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s life began to unravel. A heavy drinker, he progressed steadily into alcoholism and suffered prolonged bouts of writer’s block. His wife Zelda also suffered from mental health issues and in 1930, she was committed to a mental-health institution.
In 1937, Fitzgerald attempted to revive his career as a screenwriter and freelance storywriter in Hollywood, and he achieved modest financial success for his efforts. He began work on another novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, in 1939, and he had completed over half the manuscript when he died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, at the age of 44.