Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald Gianna Jimenez and Jackie Juarez

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy."
Born: September 24, 1896, Saint Paul, MN Died: December 21, 1940, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA Spouse: Zelda Fitzgerald (m. 1920–1940)

Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald?

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was a Jazz Age novelist and short story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest twentieth-century American writers. He was born on September 24, 1896. He was the only son of an aristocratic father and a working-class mother. He was born of two different traditions. His father's family included the author of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (after whom Fitzgerald was named) and his mother's family was, in Fitzgerald's words, "straight 1850 potato-famine Irish." Due to this difference, he was ambivalent toward the notion of the American dream. For him, it was vulgar and dazzlingly promising.

Early Life

Fitzgerald was a bright and ambitious boy, the pride and joy of his parents, especially his mother. He attended St. Paul Academy, and when he was 13, here he saw his first piece of writing appear in print: a detective story published in the school newspaper. In 1911 he attended a prestigious Catholic preparatory school in New Jersey. He met Father Sigourney Fay, who noticed his talent with the written word and encouraged him to pursue his literary ambitions.

Young Adult

Fitzgerald was placed on academic probation, and, in 1917, he dropped out of school to join the U.S. Army (Here is where he met his wife, Zelda.) He was afraid that he might die in war with his literary dreams unfulfilled, so before reporting to duty, Fitzgerald hastily wrote a novel called The Romantic Egotist. Though the publisher rejected the novel, the reviewer noted its originality and encouraged Fitzgerald to submit more work in the future.


After he completed The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's life began to unravel. He progressed steadily into alcoholism and suffered prolonged bouts of writer's block. Zelda, suffered from mental health issues. After two years lost to alcohol and depression, he attempted to revive his career as a screenwriter and freelance story writer. Although, in his final moments he died due to a heart attack believing that he was a failure.

A Reflection

Many of the events from Fitzgerald’s early life appear in his most famous novel, The Great Gatsby. Like Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway (the narrator of the novel) is a thoughtful young man from Minnesota who is educated at an Ivy League school and moves to New York after the war. Jay Gatsby is similar as well, he's a sensitive young man who idolizes wealth and luxury. He also falls in love with a beautiful young woman while stationed at a military camp in the South.

After becoming a celebrity, Fitzgerald fell into a reckless life-style of parties and decadence, while desperately trying to please Zelda, and earn money by writing. Similarly, Gatsby holds a great deal of wealth at a relatively young age, and he devotes himself to acquiring possessions and throwing parties, he believes it will enable him to win Daisy’s love.

In many ways, The Great Gatsby represents Fitzgerald’s attempt to confront his conflicting feelings about the Jazz Age.

His Novels Include: This Side of Paradise (1920), The Beautiful and Damned (1922), The Great Gatsby (1925), Tender Is the Night (1934), The Last Tycoon (1941), reissued under the original title The Love of The Last Tycoon in 1993.

Notable Short Stories Include: "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (1920), "Head and Shoulders" (1920), "The Ice Palace" (1920), "The Offshore Pirate" (1920), "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (1921), "Winter Dreams" (1922), "The Baby Party" (1925), "The Freshest Boy" (1928), "The Bridal Party" (1930), "A New Leaf" (1931), "Babylon Revisited" (1931), "Crazy Sunday" (1932)

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