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F. Scott Fitzgerald Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (21) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Died in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameFrancis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

"There are no second acts in American lives," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, who himself went from being the high priest of the Jazz Age to a down-and-out alcoholic within the space of 20 years, but not before giving the world several literary masterpieces, the most famous of which is "The Great Gatsby" (1924).

He was born in 1896 to a mother who spoiled him shamelessly, leading him to grow up an especially self-possessed young man. While he was obsessed by the image of Princeton University, he flunked out, less interested in Latin and trigonometry than bathtub gin and :bright young things". The brightest was an unconventional young lady from Montgomery, Alabama named Zelda Sayre. Fitzgerald invoked the jealousy of numerous local boys, some of whom had even begun a fraternity in Zelda's honor, by snagging her shortly before the publication of his first novel, "This Side of Paradise". The novel was a huge success, and Fitzgerald suddenly found himself the most highly-paid writer in America.

During the mid-to-late '20s the Fitzgeralds lived in Europe among many American expatriates including Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and Thornton Wilder. He wrote what is considered his greatest masterpiece, "The Great Gatsby", while living in Paris. It was at the end of this period (1924-30) that his marriage to the highly strung, demanding and mentally unstable Zelda began to unravel. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent much of the rest of her life in a variety of mental institutions. Fitzgerald turned more and more to alcohol. In 1930 a major crisis came when Zelda had a series of psychotic attacks, beginning a descent into madness and schizophrenia from which she would never recover. Much of Fitzgerald's income would now be dedicated to keeping his wife in mental hospitals. Emotionally and creatively wrung out, he wrote "Tender is The Night" (1934), the story of Dick Diver and his schizophrenic wife Nicole, that shows the pain that he felt himself. In the mid-30s Fitzgerald had a breakdown of his own. He had become a clinical alcoholic, something he would detail in his famous "The Crack-Up" series of essays.

With Zelda institutionalized on the East Coast, it was Hollywood that proved to be Fitzgerald's salvation. Although he had little success in writing for films, which he had attempted several times previously, he was paid well and gained a new professional standing. His experiences there inspired "The Last Tycoon", his last--and unfinished--novel which some believe might have been his greatest of all. Fitzgerald died at the home of his mistress, writer Sheilah Graham, of a heart attack in 1940, believing himself to be a failed and broken man. He never knew that he would one day be considered one of the finest writers of the 20th century.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Camille Scaysbrook (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Zelda Sayre (3 April 1920 - 21 December 1940) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (22)

Appears on a 23-cent US postage stamp as part of the Literary Arts series, debuting 9/27/96 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Had first heart attack at Schwab's Drugstore on Sunset Boulevard in November of 1940.
Attended Princeton University.
He moved to Paris in 1924, where he wrote his third novel, "The Great Gatsby". The Fitzgeralds returned to the U.S. in 1930.
Was named after Francis Scott Key, a distant relative.
His wife, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, died eight years after he did, in a fire at the mental hospital where she was institutionalized.
Died of a heart attack in Hollywood while writing "The Last Tycoon", a novel that was published unfinished.
First novel was "This Side of Paradise", written shortly after attending Princeton.
The "Gatsby Style", named for his 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby", was honored on one of 15 32¢ US commemorative postage stamps in the Celebrate the Century series, issued 28 May 1998, celebrating the 1920s.
He tried writing movie scripts but was frustrated by the image-based medium, which he had difficulty comprehending as it was so different from the language-based forms of the novel and short-story that he excelled in.
Was a mentor and close friend of the young Ernest Hemingway, who grew more distant with him as Hemingway's fame grew and Fitzgerald's declined, and he became increasingly more dependent on alcohol. Hemingway disapproved of Fitzgerald's lowering his great talent to write high-priced stories for slick commercial magazines like "The Saturday Evening Post" and his sojourns to Hollywood to make money writing screenplays. Unlike his great contemporaries Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and John Steinbeck, Hemingway never wrote for the movies, but he had no objection to selling his novels and short stories to the studios.
Coined the term "The Jazz Age" in reference to the Roaring Twenties.
He was nominated in the 2007 inaugural New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services to literature.
Is buried at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.
Father, with Zelda Sayre, of daughter Frances Scott Fitzgerald Smith.
He was elected into the 2008 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his contributions and services to literature.
Irish-American.
One of the people depicted in the Jazz Age sequences of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011).
For about a year and a half in the late 1930s, he rented a house from Edward Everett Horton on Horton's "Belly Acres" estate in Encino. The area where the house was is now part of the 101 highway (westbound lane). Fitzgerald paid 200 dollars a month rent.
Started writing while in college.
Through his father's Warfield ancestry he is the fourth cousin once removed of Wallis Warfield Simpson who became Dutchess of Windsor. Their common ancestors were John Warfield and Judith Gaither who were born in the mid 1600s.

Personal Quotes (21)

[on alcohol] It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don't see or care.
[on belief] At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look; at 45 they are caves in which we hide.
[on age and aging in your 20s] One of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at 21 that everything afterward savors of anti-climax.
[on California and the West] Only remember--west of the Mississippi it's a little more look, see, act. A little less rationalize, comment, talk.
[on despair] In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.
[on free will] The man who arrives young believes that he exercises his will because his star is shining. The man who only asserts himself at 30 has a balanced idea of what will-power and fate have each contributed. The one who gets there at 40 is liable to put the emphasis on will alone.
Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.
A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and be big.
Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.
What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
Grow up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to ship it and go from one childhood to another.
[on Joan Crawford] Why do her lips have to be glistening wet? I don't like her smiling to herself. Her cynical accepting smile has gotten a little tired. She cannot fake her bluff.
[on Errol Flynn] He seemed very nice, though rather silly and fatuous.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
[on Colleen Moore] I was the spark that lit up flaming youth. Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble.
There are no second acts in American lives.
Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper, the girl you see at smart nightclubs, gowned to the apex of sophistication, toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal, with wide, hurtful eyes. Young things with a talent for living.
With a woman, I have to be emotionally in it up to the eyebrows, or it's nothing. With me it isn't an affair-it must be the real thing . . . . Silly, isn't it? Look at all the fun we miss!
All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.
I'd rather have written Conrad's Nostromo than any other novel.

Salary (1)

Gone with the Wind (1939) $1,250 /week

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