Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born September 24, 1896, in St.Paul, Minn. He attended the St. Paul
Academy and went on to the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey.
He was a member of the Princeton
Class of 1917, but Fitzgerald neglected his studies and ended up on academic probation. Unlikely to graduate,
he joined the Army in 1917. His first novel, "The Romantic Egoist," was rejected twice.
Fitzgerald began his career as a writer of stories for the mass-circulation magazines in 1919.
On March 26, 1920, "This Side of Paradise" made Fitzgerald an overnight success.
Fitzgerald's image as a drinker and irresponsible writer overshadowed his creativity and talent.
Fitzgerald tried to write for the theater, but his play,
"From President to Postman" failed at its tryout on Broadway.
In 1924, Fitzgerald began to write "The Great Gatsby," which was published in April of 1925. The work
received critical praise, but sales were disappointing. Fitzgerald worked as a freelance script
writer and wrote short stories until his death on December 21, 1940.
The chief theme of Fitzgerald's works is aspiration, which he believed was the characteristic that best defined
Americans. Another prevalent theme was loss. F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing he was a failure and destined to
be obscure in American literature. By 1960, he had secured a place among the great American writers.
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