F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was a renowned American author celebrated for his vivid portrayals of the extravagant Jazz Age. His literary legacy includes four novels, four collections of short stories, and an impressive 164 short stories. Although Fitzgerald enjoyed fleeting fame and wealth during the 1920s, it was only posthumously that he gained widespread recognition as one of the preeminent American writers of the 20th century.
Born into a middle-class family in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Fitzgerald spent much of his upbringing in New York state. He attended Princeton University, where he struck up a friendship with the future literary critic Edmund Wilson. His romantic misadventures, notably with Ginevra King, led him to drop out of college in 1917 and enlist in the United States Army during World War I. It was during his military service in Alabama that he encountered Zelda Sayre, whose acceptance of his marriage proposal followed the success of his debut novel, "This Side of Paradise" (1920), which propelled him to literary stardom.
With the publication of his second novel, "The Beautiful and Damned" (1922), Fitzgerald ascended further into the upper echelons of society. To sustain his opulent lifestyle, he contributed prolifically to magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire. He also frequented Europe, where he mingled with the modernist writers and artists of the "Lost Generation" expatriate community, including Ernest Hemingway. Despite its initial commercial disappointment, "The Great Gatsby" (1925) is now revered by many as the quintessential American novel.
Fitzgerald's personal life was fraught with challenges, including his wife Zelda's struggles with mental illness, which inspired his final completed novel, "Tender Is the Night" (1934). Financial difficulties during the Great Depression drove him to Hollywood, where he attempted an unsuccessful stint as a screenwriter. He spent his final years in the company of columnist Sheilah Graham, battling alcoholism before succumbing to a heart attack at the age of 44 in 1940. His unfinished fifth novel, "The Last Tycoon," was posthumously edited and published by his friend Edmund Wilson.
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