Ernest Hemingway

A biography in words and pictures

"Live the full life of the mind, exhilirated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual."  Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  The father of Hemingway, Clarence, was a doctor, and his mother, Grace Hall, was a music teacher.  The second of six children, Hemingway loved outdoor adventure, fishing and hunting with his father around the lakes and creeks near the family summer home at Walloon Lake, Michigan.  Hemingway tried football and swimming in high school, and also edited the school paper.

Young Adulthood

After graduating from high school, Hemingway went to Kansas City and worked as a reporter for The Kansas City Star newspaper.  In 1918, Hemingway went to Italy, where he drove a Red Cross ambulance in World War I, for the Italian Army.  After recuperating from a war wound, Hemingway went back to Europe and worked as a war correspondent.  Hemingway married his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, in September, 1921, with whom he had one child, John Hemingway, born in 1923.  Around that time, Hemingwy worked as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star.   He wrote several short stories before publishing his first successful novel, The Sun Also Rises, in 1926.

Middle Years

Hemingway ended his first marriage in 1927 and married his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, that same year.  They spent much of their married life in Key West, Florida, and had two sons together, Patrick and Gregory.   While married to Pauline, Hemingway wrote  the novels A Farewell to Arms, a story about World War I, and Death in the Afternoon, about bullfighting, as well as his short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro."  These works made Hemingway famous as one of the great writers of all time.  Hemingway then traveled to Spain, which was the setting for his 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, about the Spanish Civil War.  Around that time, Hemingway married his third wife, Martha Ellis Gellhorn.

Later Life

Hemingway married his fourth wife, Mary Welsh Monks, in 1946.  They moved to Cuba that same year, where they lived on the farm Hemingway owned, called Finca Vigia.  While living there, Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea, which won him the Pulitzer Prize as well as the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.  He did not attend the prize ceremonies because of two plane crashes earlier that year.  Hemingway died on July 2, 1961, of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.  His wife, Mary, found him and told the world, which would soon grieve the loss of the famous writer.
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