Ernest Hemingway was one the most prominent writers in America's history. While living a tumultuous life, Hemingway relied on his talent to bring a story to life and his incredible life experiences to produce his famous novels. Every aspect of Hemingway's life was larger than life: his soap-opera life, his amazing experiences, and his prestigious career. Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in a suburb outside of Chicago. As a boy he learned how to hunt and fish around Lake Michigan by his father, which captured his enthusiasm and develop into a passion later in life.
While working for the Toronto Star Weekly, Hemingway met and fell in love with Hadley Richardson. The couple moved to Paris, France when Ernest was offered a job by the Toronto Daily Star as its European corespondent. When she became pregnant in 1923, Hemingway and Richardson moved back to Toronto for the superior medical care in North America. After the baby was born, they returned to Paris, where Hemingway got his first stories published. Just as his career was blossoming, his marriage deteriorated and ended in divorce in 1927. Hemingway soon remarried to a fashion reporter named Pauline Pfeiffer.
In 1928 the newly-weds moved to Key West, Florida to start a new life. On June 28 of that year Hemingway's second child was born. In December Ernest got bad news, his father, Clarence, shot himself in the head after developing numerous physical problems. In 1937 Ernest went to Spain to cover the civil war. The war not only split a nation, it split his household, Ernest sided with the Communists, while Pauline sided with the Fascists. Hemingway was already having an affair with a young writer named Martha Gell horn, and he eventually divorced Pauline to marry Martha in November of 1940.
He would later divorce Martha and marry his fourth wife Mary Welsh. Towards the end of his life, Hemingway battled depression, paranoia, mood swings, and alcoholism. He was admitted to the Mayo Clinic, which tried to cure his problems with electric shock therapy, which only contributed to his loss of memory, one of his most vital tools as a writer. On July 2, 1961 Hemingway followed in the footsteps of his father by shooting himself in the head.
In the end, Hemingway's lust for life caught up to him and led to his tragic demise. Ernest Hemingway's greatest tool as a writer was his access to the incredible stories that he experienced. His first adventure that he would utilize in his work was his experience in World War I. After being rejected by the army due to poor eyesight, Ernest volunteered for the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. After a few weeks in Europe, Hemingway was wounded by fragments of a mortar shell.
It has been rumored that Hemingway carried a wounded soldier back to the first aid station, while being shot at, but not confirmed. He was awarded the Italian Silver Medal for Valor. While recuperating in Milan he developed a relationship with his nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky. These experiences all inspired his first classic, A Farewell to Arms. Once Hemingway moved to Paris, he quickly met and became friends with prominent writers Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, Max Eastman, Lincoln Steffens, and Wyndam Lewis and the great painters Miro and Picasso. In 1933 Hemingway traveled to Africa to test his hunting skill against the most dangerous animals on earth.
Not only did Hemingway test his hunting skill in Africa; he gathered information for his future works. Green Hills of Africa, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber were all inspired by his time spent in Africa. In 1942 Hemingway, along with friends, tried to hunt down German submarines off the coast of Cuba. Although all that happened on his trips was drinking and fishing with friends. Hemingway's child-like thirst for adventure helped launch his prodigious writing career by providing stories that were better than fiction. Because of his real-life stories, Hemingway was never challenged to come up with a story, his only challenge was to bring the reader along on his adventures, which he did famously.
Hemingway's first experience of writing came at his Oak Park high school newspaper, the Trapeze, where he wrote satirical articles. After graduating, he decided to work as a reporter for the Kansas City Star. Hemingway's writing career did not get going until he returned to France after the birth of his first child, when his first stories were published in the Transatlantic Review. In 1926, Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises, was published.
Hemingway earned his spot among the greatest writers of all time in 1929 when A Farewell to Arms was published. After experiencing success in fiction, Hemingway attempted to master non-fiction with Death in the Afternoon, but did not experience the same success because it made him appear egotistical and self-centered, as did his other non-fiction book Green Hills of Africa. While covering the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway gained inspiration for his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, which was unanimously voted the best novel of the year by the Pulitzer Prize committee, but did not earn him the award for political reasons. The Old Man and the Sea was the culmination of all of Hemingway's hard work; his final masterpiece won him the elusive Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
After a long journey the top of the literary world, that spanned three continents, Hemingway gained the recognition he deserved. Inspiration was never a problem for Ernest Hemingway; his challenge was to bring the exciting life he lived to the reader's mind. As an award-winning writer, Ernest Hemingway will always be known as one of America's greatest storytellers. It was his extraordinary skill of bringing his heroic adventures to life that made so many of his novels classics.
But the story behind the man was just as intriguing as any novel ever written.