F. Scott Fitzgerald

Biography | Literary Career | The Great Gatsby | Historical Significance | Bibliography

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. While stationed by the army near Montgomery, Alabama, Fitzgerald met his future wife, Zelda Sayre. The two were married after the publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise. He other novels include The Beautiful and the Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender is the Night. Many of his novels were based on his life with his wife. His legacy lives on after him through his literary works.


Fitzgerald was born in 1896, to Edward Fitzgerald and Mary “Mollie” McQuillan, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was named after Francis Scott Key, the writer of the Star Spangled Banner, and his second cousin three times removed. Before he was born, one of his sisters died. His father worked at Procter and Gamble, and in the first decade of his life, Fitzgerald lived in Buffalo, New York, and was sent to many different Catholic schools outside of Buffalo. Then, when he was 12, his father was fired from Procter & Gamble, and they returned to St. Paul to live off his mothers’ inheritance. From 1908 to 1911, he attended the St. Paul Academy, and when he was 13, he saw his first piece of writing in print: a detective story that was published in the school newspaper. In 1911, when he was 15, his parents sent him to the Newman School, which, after he graduated in 1913, helped him realize he wanted to stay in New Jersey to pursue his writing career at Princeton University. While there, he wrote numerous scripts for the musicals as well as frequent articles for the humor magazine. However, because he spent so much time writing, his grades were severely affected, and he was
Zelda Fitzgerald

placed on academic probation. In 1917, Fitzgerald decided that he wanted to be in the army, and dropped out of Princeton to be in the army.

Afraid that he might die while in the army, Fitzgerald began to write his novel, The Romantic Egotist. He took it to his editor, who told him to come back when it was more revised. While serving as a second lieutenant, Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre,[1] a beautiful 18 year old woman. He tried many a time to convince her that he would be able to support her, but she didn’t believe it, and broke of the engagement. After Fitzgerald revised The Romantic Egotist, making it This Side of Paradise, which became one of the bestselling books of the year, Zelda resumed the engagement, and they became married in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They had one child, named Francis Scott “Scottie” Fitzgerald, born on October 26, 1921. Fitzgerald died on December 21, 1940 of a mass heart attack.[2]

Literary Career

In 1918 F. Scott Fitzgerald was drafted into the war. He was convinced that he was going to die in the war, so he submitted his first novel, The Romantic Egoist for publication. Charles Scribneir’s Sons rejected it, but applauded its originality. He was stationed near Montgomery, Alabama, where he met is future wife, Zelda Sayre. After the war, he revised his nove and resubmitted it as This Side of Paradise. It was published in 1920 and was the beginning of his bright writing career.

His next novel, The Beautiful and the Damned , received positive reviews. He spent some time traveling around Europe with Zelda in attempts to save their tumultuous marriage. During this time, Fitzgerald was busy writing his third novel. In 1925, The Great Gatsby was published. The Great Gatsby is often regarded as the masterpiece of Fitzgeralds career. It deals with themes of old money vs. new money, the American dream, and love vs. lust. It’s portrayal of the 1920s and Fitzgerald’s accurate social insight made it so popular. His last novel was Tender is the Night. He died of a heart attack at age 44 . while writing The love of the Last Tycoon. More than 70 years after his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing is still loved by many.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is considered the masterpiece of Fitzgerald's career and one of the greatest American novels.He began planning it in 1922 and began writing it in 1923. As he was writing it, Fitzgerald believed that the novel would be what launched him to literary acclaim. The writing process for Gatsby was slow. Fitzgerald moved three times, to Long Island, then to the French Riviera, then to Rome, while writing it and he was simultaneously trying to fix his troubled marriage. In February 1925 the final revisions of The Great Gatsby were sent to his editor.

The Great Gatsby in 1922 in Long Island, New York, It tells the story of a man, Nick Carraway, who moves into the house next to Jay Gatsby, a shady and mysterious millionaire. The world proves to be a small place when Nick discovers that his cousin Daisy is the love of Gatsby's life, for whom he has been trying to reconnect with for many years. The story gives a vivid and accurate portrayal of the "roaring twenties." The Great Gatsby did not initially recieve the same level of commercial success that his previous two novels reached. By the 1960s, however, The Great Gatsby was considered on of the great American novels.

Historical Significance

Fitzgerald was a very important author closely related to the 1920's. His books, besides being about his experiences, were also about things that are special to the 20's. The Great Gatsby explained a lot about the flappers in the 20's, and brought a lot about them to others' attention. Although Fitzgerald was a very popular author in the 20's, if he had not been born, the era would have remained mostly the same. Even though he brought amazing literature to the eyes of many, his books did nothing to change the way things worked. It is true that he wrote about the flappers, but that only brought them to others' attention, and did nothing to either help ensure that they would be stopped, or to encourage others to support them.


  1. ^ 1. Merriman, C.D. "The Literature Network", www.online-literature.com. Access on Jan. 27, 2012. www.online-literature.com/fitzgerald/

    2. No author available "Bio. TRUE STORY", www.biography.com. Access on Jan 27, 2012. www.biography.com/people/f-scott-fitzgerald-9296261?
  2. ^ No author available "Bio. TRUE STORY", www.biography.com. Access on Jan 27, 2012. www.biography.com/people/f-scott-fitzgerald-9296261?