Let me introduce you to Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald! 😲!
He was an American essayist, novelist, and also short story writer!
He is most famous for his novels depicting the excess and flamboyance of the Jazz Age😲!!
So, little friends, let us explore some interesting facts about this interesting person from the United States of America!
Amazing F. Scott Fitzgerald Facts
Birth of Fitzgerald: He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota
Hey there, little fact lovers, did you know that Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota?
This famous person took birth in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896!
He was born to a middle-class Catholic family!
Fitzgerald’s mother👩 was Mary “Moly” McQuillan Fitzgerald, who was the daughter of an Irish immigrant!
Fitzgerald’s father, Edward Fitzgerald 👨 was a descendant of English and Irish ancestry and moved to Minnesota to open a wicker-furniture manufacturing business!
Fitzgerald is related to the author of the anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Fitzgerald got his name after his distant cousin, Francis Scott Key!
Like me, you will be amazed to know that Key wrote the lyrics for the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814!
Key was also a poet and a lawyer! 🧑⚖️
Key was Fitzgerald’s second cousin, but three times removed!
Fitzgerald valued his family connection quite a lot! Hence, he once cried, “Don’t let Frank see me drunk!”
It was the time he was driven past the monument of Key in Baltimore!
Fitzgerald’s father failed as a manufacturer of wicker furniture
Have you heard this fact about Fitzgerald?
Fitzgerald’s father, Edward Fitzgerald, failed as a manufacturer of wicker furniture🪑 in St. Paul!
So, later, he started working as a salesman for Proctor & Gamble in upstate New York!
However, when Fitzgerald was just twelve, he was dismissed in 1908!
So, the family started living quite comfortably on Mollie Fitzgerald’s inheritance!
Fitzgerald aspired to be a poet
I am really amazed to explore this wonderful secret about Fitzgerald!
This world-famous writer🖋️ considered a career as a poet at one point.
His early poems were not successful; however, interestingly, neither of the first drafts of his novels were later published!
While at Princeton University, Fitzgerald wrote several poems, and many of those were inspired by the poetry of John Keats’📚!
Encouraged by John Peale, his classmate, Fitzgerald sought the American Rupert Brooke. Brooke was the young British poet who died in 1915 on his way to the Gallipoli landing!
Fitzgerald attended Princeton: however, he never graduated
Fitzgerald wanted to go to college in the East after spending two years in a prep school in New Jersey!
Princeton University 🏛️ attracted him with its poised and privileged Ivy demeanor!
However, he failed the entrance exams of the college twice before meeting the Admissions Committee on his 17th birthday!
Hence, talked himself into the school!
While at school, he wrote for several newspapers 📰and tried out for the football team!
However, his grades were really poor. So, in 1917, he dropped out!
Later, Fitzgerald enlisted in the army! He was commissioned as a second lieutenant during the First World War.
He was worried about dying even without publishing a novel
Little explorers, did you know this fun fact and Fitzgerald? No? Let’s explore!
Fitzgerald enlisted in the U.S Army, hoping to die in combat in the middle of World War I!
However, he was very worried about dying without even publishing a novel!
He spent more time writing than in combat training, even after joining the U.S. Army!
So, he was not sent overseas to fight! Later, he expressed his regret in his short story, in 1936 “I Didn’t Get Over.” Really interesting, isn’t it?
Fitzgerald’s father’s first cousin conspired to assassinate Abraham Lincoln
Fitzgerald’s father, Edward’s first cousin, Mary Surratt, was executed in 1865 as she was plotting to assassinate Lincoln.
Mary was the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government!
Though the case against her was and continues to be controversial, she maintained her innocence until she died!
Fitzgerald was a terrible speller
Though we all know that Fitzgerald had a mastery of the written word, still an amazing fact about this famous person is that he was a lousy speller.
Also, he may have suffered from dyslexia!
After going through a typo-filled edition of This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s close friend Edmund Wilson defined it.
He said that it is “one of the most illiterate books of any merit ever published…full of English words misused with the most reckless abandon.” Quite interesting, right?
The Vegetable, the only full-length stage play of Fitzgerald: It was a failure
Fitzgerald wrote a political satire, which was his play called The Vegetable, subtitled From President to Postman.
The plot follows Jerry Frost, a railroad clerk, who decides to run for president if he can’t become a postal worker, a critique on the relentless striving up the social ladders of Americans!
Fitzgerald thought it would work as the start of his successful theater career when it premiered in 1923!
It premiered at the Apollo Theatre of the Atlantic City; however, it was a flop!
So, he wrote more short stories to pay off all the debt which he incurred!
At Princeton, Fitzgerald fell in love with his first muse
If you are a big fan of the novels of Fitzgerald, like me, then you will definitely love this amazing secret about Fitzgerald!
During Christmas, during Fitzgerald’s sophomore year at Princeton, he returned to Saint Paul and met 16-year-old Ginevra King!
He fell in love ❤️with Ginevra, and later, this young girl became his literary inspiration for Isabelle Borge in The Side of Paradise and Daisy Buchanan in his masterpiece The Great Gatsby!
However, Ginevra was kicked out of her school for flirting with an admiring group of boys from the window of her dormitory!
The Side of Paradise: Fitzgerald rose to fame with this
While at Princeton, Fitzgerald wrote an unpublished novel The Romantic Egoist!
When he tried to woo Zelda Sayre, she told him that she wouldn’t marry him unless he published the book!
Fitzgerald kept editing his draft and gave the final novel the name This Side of Paradise! It was accepted by Scribner’s for publication!
It was his semi-biographical account stating his experience at college and during the war years!
The commercial success of the novel not only established him as a writer but also made Sayre agree to marry him!
After the war ended, Fitzgerald moved to NYC to write
After his discharge, Fitzgerald went to New York City! There he pleaded with the editors of several newspapers for a job; however, he was unsuccessful!
Discouraged, he moved to produce advertising copy to support himself, along with struggling to become a fiction novelist!
During that time, he struggled a lot to support himself and even managed to write several satires and short stories!
Fitzgerald carried a revolver with him
After being rejected by Sayre at first, and even experiencing the failure of his writings, Fitzgerald was quite depressed.
So, he carried a handgun on a regular basis and even thought of shooting himself!
Also, once, he openly threatened to plunge himself to death from the window ledge of the Yale Club!
Marriage of Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre
At first Zelda broke off her engagement with Fitzgerald as he was incapable of supporting anyone! However, after Fitzgerald’s The Side of Paradise became successful, she 👰♀️ agreed to marry him!
So, they eventually married on April 3, 1920, in New York.
It was around a week after This Side of Paradise was published!
However, after Zelda broke off the engagement, Fitzgerald started having complicated feelings for Zelda!
He even said to a friend, “I wouldn’t care if she died, but I couldn’t stand to have anybody else marry her.”
After the marriage, the couple lived in Manhattan, New York City!
Fitzgerald kept a record of his personal life and earnings
From 1919 to 1937, Fitzgerald recorded the progression of his career and life in a large leather-bound business ledger!
He even recorded when his works were published, and even how much he earned!
One of the famous sections of these notes was titled “Outline Chart of My Life.”
It tells about his activities since birth, month by month!
Here he even wrote his height at the age of 13 and also the date he fell for Zelda (September 7, 1918).
Some years even include a summary sentence, “A Year of Much Activity but Dangerous,” for the age of 14!
Fitzgerald worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood
Love to watch movies?? Then you will surely love this interesting secret about Fitzgerald!
Fitzgerald worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood 🎬 for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor Studios Inc.
He made uncredited revisions to the script for Madame Curie (1943) and even some other forgettable films!
He even proposed scripts and projects; however, the studios rejected them!
He was quite known for writing flowery and long backstories for characters! Those didn’t resemble Hollywood movies!
Later, the one and only screenplay of this famous person that received some credit was the 1938 drama Three Comrades!
Fitzgerald’s most famous work The Great Gatsby: It was deemed a flop upon its initial release
Have you read the famous work of Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby??
Though today, The Great Gatsby is considered to be the masterpiece of Fitzgerald, it was a flop upon its initial release!
In 1929, four years after the novel was released, Fitzgerald received royalties of $5.10 for the American and $0.34 for the English editions!
Also, the novel sold fewer than 25000 copies throughout his lifetime!
It wasn’t until after several decades after his death that the novel was recognized as an American classic, with a number of almost 500,000 copies of the novel being sold 😲every year!
The publication of The Beautiful and Damned
On March 4, 1922, Fitzgerald’s second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, was published!
It had been published previously from September 1921 to March 1922 as a serial in Metropolitan Magazine!
Scribner published the novel preparing for an initial print run of around 20,000 copies!
It was an initial hit and also a movie adaptation of it was made the same year!
However, Fitzgerald really hated the movie adaptation of The Beautiful and Damned!
Also, no copies of this 1922 film are known to exist today! Interesting, isn’t it?
Know about Fitzgerald’s most recent royalty payment
Fitzgerald got his last royalty cheque with an amount of $13.13, despite his most famous book selling more than 30 million copies currently! 😲
Just four months before his death, he got his last royalty cheque!
Fitzgerald fell in love with Sheilah Graham
Sheilah was Fitzgerald’s final romance prior to his death!
Later, they started living together!
While living with Sheilah, he managed to quit drinking🍷 and even stayed sober for more than a year prior to his death!
Fitzgerald died before he could finish his fifth novel
When Fitzgerald died, he was working on his fifth novel, The Last Tycoon!
There he wrote about his experiences in Hollywood!
However, this amazing writer died ⚰️of a heart attack, leaving his fifth novel unfinished!
At that time, he was only 44!
Later, this half-finished novel was prepared for publication by his friend, writer Edmund Wilson!
Later, the novel was released posthumously in 1941😲!
The New York Times claimed, “It would have been Fitzgerald’s best novel and a very fine one.”
So, little fact explorers, isn’t the person Francis Scott Fitzgerald and the facts regarding him are wonderful?
We have tried to collect some interesting pieces of information that will satisfy your curious soul😲!
Hope you like them, and looking forward to getting your views!
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