61 (passed away Jul. 2nd, 1961)
Jul. 21st, 1899
Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Ernest Hemingway's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2002 - The Kid Stays in the Picture
Ernest Hemingway was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six children to Doctor Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hemingway (daughter of an English immigrant). His father's interests in history and literature, as well as his outdoorsy hobbies - fishing and hunting, became a lifestyle for Hemingway. His mother was a domineering type. She dressed Ernest as a girl and called him Ernestine. She also had a habit of abusing his quiet father, who was suffering from diabetes, and ended up committing suicide. Hemingway later described the community in his hometown as one having "wide lawns and narrow minds".
In 1916 Hemingway graduated from high school and began his writing career as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. There he adopted his minimalist style by following the Star's style guide: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Six months later he joined the Ambulance Corps in WWI and worked as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, picking up human remains. In July 1918 he was seriously wounded by a mortar shell, that left shrapnel in both of his legs, and he was awarded the Silver Medal.
He became a Toronto Star reporter in Paris. There he published his first books, called "Three Stories and Ten Poems" (1923), and "In our time" (1924). In Paris he met Gertrude Stein, who introduced him to the circle, that she called the "Lost Generation". F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson, and Ezra Pound were stimulating Hemingway's talent. At that time he wrote "The Sun Also Rises" (1926), "A Farewell to Arms" (1929), and a dazzling collection of Forty-Nine stories. Hemingway also regarded the Russian writers, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ivan Turgenev, and Anton Chekhov as his important influences. Hemingway met Pablo Picasso and other artists through Gertrude Stein. "A Movable Feast" (1964) is his classic memoir of Paris after WWI.
Hemingway participated in the Spanish Civil War and in the World War II, by taking part in the D-day invasion of France. He took an active part in the military action. In one case he attacked the Nazis by throwing three hand grenades into an SS bunker and killing SS officers. He was decorated with the Bronze Medal for WWII. His military experiences were emulated in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940) and in several other stories. He settled near Havana, Cuba, where he wrote "The Old Man and the Sea" (1953), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. This was adapted as the film The Old Man and the Sea (1958), for which Spencer Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor, and Dimitri Tiomkin received an Award for Best Musical Score.
War wounds, two plane crashes, four marriages, and several other affairs took their toll on his hereditary predispositions and things fell into pieces. Hemingway was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and insomnia in his later years. His mental condition was exacerbated by chronic alcoholism, diabetes and liver failure. After an unsuccessful treatment with electro-convulsive therapy, he suffered severe amnesia, and his condition worsened. The memory loss obstructed his writing and everyday life. He committed suicide in 1961. Posthumous publications revealed a considerable body of his hidden writings, that was edited by his fourth wife, Mary, and also by his son Patrick Hemingway.
- Grandfather of actresses 'Mariel Hemingway' (qv), 'Margaux Hemingway' (qv) and 'Joan Hemingway' (qv).
- 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' (qv) and the late 'Margaux Hemingway' (qv) (also a suicide, in 1996, as was her great-grandfather, Ernest's father).
- Was awarded the 1954 Nobel prize in literature.
- 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.
- 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' (qv)'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.
- The city of Key West, Florida, has an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest every year.
- 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".
- Much of his writing reflects his dissatisfaction with modern culture.
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