Earnest Hemingway

Biography

20 Interesting Facts

When he died in 1961, his estate consisted of $418,933 in various stocks and bonds, $801,766 in real estate, and $189,611 in notes, cash, and mortgages.

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Journalist Hunter S. Thompson was an admirer of Hemingway and his writing. He later wrote an article about Hemingway`s later life and death titled, `What Lured Hemingway to Ketcham`. The article can be found in Thompson`s book, `The Great Shark Hunt`.

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Although it was not used, he proposed the following epitaph for his tombstone: Pardon me for not getting up..

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The city of Key West, Florida, has an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest every year.

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Much of his writing reflects his dissatisfaction with modern culture.

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Hemingway, perhaps the most prominent of the American supporters of the Spanish Republic during the Civil War against Franco`s fascist Falangists, said that Alvah Bessie`s Spanish Civil War novel "Men in Battle" (1939) was one of the best war novels of its time. Hemingway`s own Spanish Civil War novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was a best-seller.

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Long considered a likely Nobel Laureate for Literature, Hemingway was disappointed when in 1950, William Faulkner became the first American writer of their generation to cop the Prize. Hemingway`s 1949 novel "Across the River and Into the Trees" (1949) had been a notable failure, and likely cost him the honor of being the first American since Eugene O`Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Hemingway returned to his original, simple style for The Old Man and the Sea (1958), his 1952 novella that won him the Pulitzer Prize. After two plane crashes gave him the opportunity to read his own obituary, he finally won the Nobel Prize in 1954, in large part due to the extraordinary success of "Old Man". Hemingway himself was initially involved in the production of his book, although the extent of his participation after selling his book was to go marlin-fishing off the coast of Peru to try to find a fish worthy enough for the picture. In the end, the producers used a rubber marlin and stock footage of marlin fishing in which Hemingway didn`t participate in. After seeing the film, Ernest Hemingway expressed his disappointment and said that Spencer Tracy looked less the Cuban peasant fisherman and more the rich old actor that he was. Tracy won an Oscar nomination for the role.

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He admired Russian writers Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Anton Chekhov among others.

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He was married four times, and dedicated a book for each wife during the time he was married to them.

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One son, Jack Hemingway with first wife; two sons, Patrick and Gregory, with second. Only Patrick survives as of this writing (June 2005).

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His house in Key West, Florida, where he wrote a good deal of his literature, is now a museum in his honor. One other interesting note about the house is that the lineage of cats that live there hereditarily have six toes on each foot, going back to Hemmingway`s own cats.

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Hemingway suffered from bipolar disorder, then known as manic depression, and was treated with electroshock therapy at the Menninger Clinic. The therapy, he claimed, had destroyed his memory, which was essential to a writer, and he told his friend A.E. Hotchner that his memory loss was one of the reasons he no longer wanted to live. The condition was hereditary: Hemingway`s father Clarence likely suffered from it, as did at least one of his sisters, Ursula, and his only brother, Leicester, as did one of his sons, Gregory, and his granddaughter Margaux. In addition to Ernest, Hemingway`s father Clarence, his siblings Ursula and Leicester, and his granddaughter Margaux all committed suicide. His son Gregory died in police custody after being picked up in a stupor shortly after a sex change operation.

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A.E. Hotcher, in his 1966 memoir of his friendship with "Papa Hemingway." reports that the great writer chose him in the late 1950s as his emissary to Hollywood to sell the Nick Adams stories. Hemingway, hobbled by mental illness and bad health, wanted an unprecedented $1 million for the movie rights to the stories, but Hotchner was only able to get him $100,000. The stories are the basis for Martin Ritt`s film "Hemingway`s Adventures of a Young Man" (1962), which came out the year after Papa`s death. Hotchner wrote the screenplay, as he did for the tele-play "The World of Nick Adams" (1957).

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Unlike his great contemporaries Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Steinbeck, Hemingway never wrote for the movies, but he had no objection to selling his novels and short stories for good prices to producers.

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Grandfather of actresses Mariel Hemingway,Margaux Hemingway and Joan Hemingway.

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It`s estimated Hemingway left behind over 8,000 personal and business letters, and plans were announced in May 2002 to attempt to collect and publish most of them in a set that could exceed 10 volumes.

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For a man who survived two plane crashes, it`s somewhat ironic that he would take his own life in the end. He is the grandfather of sister actresses Mariel Hemingway and the late Margaux Hemingway (also a suicide, in 1996, as was her great-grandfather, Ernest`s father).

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Pictured on a 25¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Literary Arts series, issued 17 July 1989.

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Born at 8:0am-CST

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Was awarded the 1954 Nobel prize in literature.

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Ernest Hemingway Recording