At the turn of the 20th century, one of the most prolific and influential American writers, war correspondents, and renowned sportsman was born. Ernest Hemingway would’ve been 115 years old today.
July 21, 1899 saw the birth of Ernest Miller Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois, the second child in a family of six. Since he was young, Hemingway had already manifested deep interests in sports, the outdoors, and, of course, writing. His teenage years proved to be eventful. Fresh from high school in 1917, Hemingway worked as a reporter for The Kansas City Star (he was said to have honed his distinct straightforward writing style here, following the paper’s style guide). By 1918, which was the final year of the First World War, he was seriously injured by mortar fire in the Italian Front, where he was sent to serve as an ambulance driver after volunteering for the Red Cross. While recovering from his injuries, Hemingway fell in love for the first time with a nurse seven years older than him named Agnes von Kurowsky. They were supposed to get married; however, she broke things up with him after becoming engaged with an Italian officer.
Hemingway went on to live quite an adventurous and colorful life from then on. The man was an accomplished journalist, covering certain historical events such as those in the Second World War and the Spanish Civil War. A sportsman, Hemingway loved fishing and hunting, and watching bullfights. He had spent time in different places not only within his home country but also abroad, such as in Spain, Cuba, Africa, and France, where he became associated with a group of artists and writers known as “The Lost Generation.” After his affair with von Kurowsky, he would undergo, and quite famously at that, four consecutive marriages.
Needless to say, Hemingway had a lot of experiences to draw inspiration for his stories from, and that’s exactly what he did. He had penned the classics “The Sun Also Rises,” “A Farewell to Arms,” “To Have and Have Not,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “A Moveable Feast,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Old Man and the Sea.” Hemingway was also a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
Unfortunately, Hemingway’s successes were marred with various health problems over the years. He was physically injured multiple times from his adventures and plane crashes. Despite enjoying tremendous success during what would be the final years of his life, Hemingway became severely depressed. On the early morning of July 2, 1961, Hemingway, a few weeks shy of turning 62, committed suicide in his home at Ketchum, Idaho by shooting himself in the mouth with a shotgun.
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