Did you know….
1. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on the 24th September 1896 to Mollie McQuillan and Edward Fitzgerald.
2. When he was thirteen Francis Scott had his first piece of writing, a detective story, published in the school newspaper.
3. After being cut from the Princeton University football team on the first day of practice, Francis decided to throw himself in to his writing, Writing for the Princeton Triangle Club, The Nassau Lit and the Princeton Tiger.
4. With all his time at Princeton University spent writing Francis managed to write a novel which he submitted to Charles Scribner’s Son’s, unfortunately although the book was praised in the end it was rejected.
5. In 1917 with his course work suffering Francis left college and joined the US Army. In a panic that he might die before ever having anything published Francis quickly wrote the novel, The Romantic Egotist and sent it off to Charles Scribner’s Son’s before reporting for duty, unfortunately it was rejected, but they encouraged him to continue to work on it as it showed originality.
6. During the war Francis met Zelda Sayre. In 1918 planning to convince Zelda to marry him Francis moved to New York hoping to launch a career in advertising. It did work for a while and Zelda and Francis became engaged, only for Zelda to break off the engagement when it became clear that Francis wouldn’t earn enough to support her.
7. After the engagement was broke off Francis returned to his parents house where he started to rework The Romantic Egotist, with money tight Francis took a job repairing car roofs. Thankfully all the hard work paid off when the reworked novel was accepted and published by Charles Scribner’s Son’s in March 1920. The Romantic Egotist, published as This Side of Paradise was a huge hit selling 41,075 copies in its first year. With the book launching Francis Scott’s writing career and providing a steady income Zelda and Francis resumed their engagement getting married in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.
8. In the 1920 Francis and Zelda made several trips to Europe, with Paris and the French Riviera being their favorite. The trips allowed Francis to make friends with the American expats that were living in Paris, like Ernest Hemingway.
9. Only his first novel made enough to support the life that Francis and Zelda had made for themselves and although he supplemented his earnings by writing for Magazines and by selling his stories and novels to Hollywood Studios, Francis often found himself in financial difficulty.
10. On 21st December 1940 whilst at home with his partner Sheilah Graham, Francis died of a heart attack.