- NAME: F. Scott Fitzgerald
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: September 24, 1896
- DEATH DATE: December 21, 1940
- EDUCATION: St. Paul Academy, Newman School, Princeton University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: St. Paul, Minnesota
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hollywood, California
- Full Name: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
- AKA: F. Scott Fitzgerald
- AKA: F. Scott Key Fitzgerald
Best Known For
American short-story writer and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his turbulent personal life and his famous novel The Great Gatsby.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the most famous authors of the Jazz Age, best known for his novel "The Great Gatsby." After reaching success, he struggled with alcoholism and died at the age of 44.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary legacy has gained strength over the years. Authors Joseph Heller, Tobias Wolff, Garrison Keillor and Jane Smalley praise his accessibility to readers and his insights into the lives of everyday people.
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After he completed The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's life began to unravel. Always 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 the couple spent the late 1920s moving back and forth between Delaware and France. In 1930, she was briefly committed to a mental-health clinic in Switzerland, and, after the Fitzgeralds returned to the United States in 1931,
she suffered another breakdown and subsequently entered the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1934, after years of toil, Fitzgerald finally published his fourth novel, Tender is the Night, about an American psychiatrist in Paris, France, and his troubled marriage to a wealthy patient. Although Tender is the Night was a commercial failure and was initially poorly received due to its chronologically jumbled structure, it has since gained in reputation and is now considered among the great American novels.
After another two years lost to alcohol and depression, in 1937 Fitzgerald attempted to revive his career as a screenwriter and freelance storywriter in Hollywood, and he achieved modest financial, if not critical, 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, in Hollywood, California.
F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure. None of his works received anything more than modest commercial or critical success during his lifetime. However, since his death, Fitzgerald has gained a reputation as one of the pre-eminent authors in the history of American literature due almost entirely to the enormous posthumous success of The Great Gatsby. Perhaps the quintessential American novel, as well as a definitive social history of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby went on to become required reading for virtually every American high school student, and has had a transportive effect on generation after generation of readers.
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