F. Scott Fitzgerald
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald was the son of Edward Fitzgerald, who worked for Proctor and Gamble and brought his family to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York, for most of his son's first decade. Edward Fitzgerald's great-great-grandfather was the brother of the grandfather of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the poem “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This fact was of great significance to Mrs. Fitzgerald, Mollie McQuillan, and later to Scott. Mollie Fitzgerald's own family could offer no pretensions to aristocracy, but her father, an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1843, was a self-made businessman. Equally important was Fitzgerald's sense of having come from two widely different Celtic strains. He had early on developed an inferiority complex in a family where the “black Irish half … had the money and looked down on the Maryland side of the family who had, and really had … ‘breeding,’” according to Scott Donaldson in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Out of this divergence of classes in his family background arose what critics called F. Scott's “double vision.” He had the ability to experience the lifestyle of the wealthy from an insider's perspective, yet never felt a part of this clique and always felt the outsider. As a youth, Fitzgerald revealed a flair for dramatics, first in St. Paul, where he wrote original plays for amateur production, and later at The Newman Academy in Hackensack, New Jersey. At Princeton, he composed lyrics for the university's famous Triangle Club productions. Fitzgerald was also a writer and actor with the Triangle Club at college. Before he could graduate, he volunteered for the army during World War I. He spent the weekends writing the earliest drafts of his first novel. The work was accepted for publication in 1919 by Charles Scribner's Sons. The popular and financial success that accompanied this event enabled Fitzgerald to marry Zelda Sayre, whom he met at training camp...
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