Francis Scott Kay Fitzgerald is one of the most famous authors of the 1920’s, being the author of the famous book ‘The Great Gatsby’ (1925). Born on September 24, 1896, and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Fitzgerald lived through the reckless 1920’s and the Great Depression. In his early life he was a mediocre student, and though he successfully enrolling at Princeton in 1913, he did not graduate. Instead, he enrolled in the army in 1917, and once becoming a second lieutenant he was stationed at Camp Sheridan, in Montgomery, Alabama. There he met the love of his life, an ambitious seventeen year old girl named Zelda Sayre. Zelda agreed to marry Fitzgerald only when he proved to her that he could give her the leisurely and wealthy lifestyle she desired. This became the main motivation for Fitzgerald to start writing, and when he became a celebrity in 1920, with the publication of ‘This Side of Paradise’, he was able to accomplish his dream and marry Zelda. From this moment on, Fitzgerald’s life changed drastically. Being his wife Zelda a woman who enjoyed lavish parties and having fun, Fitzgerald began leading a life full of wild and reckless partying, full of excesses and decadence, while at the same time he struggled, through his writing, to earn enough money to keep up this new lifestyle and please Zelda.
The 1920’s was a period of enormous economy growth and prosperity, and because of the prohibition of selling and consuming alcohol dictated in 1919 by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, those who sold alcohol illegally became millionaires, and the consumption of alcohol in private parties, such as those offered and attended by Fitzgerald and his wife, eluded police notice. Fitzgerald came to love this exciting lifestyle, but when the Great Depression began, everything starting falling apart for him. His beloved Zelda suffered a nervous breakdown, and the quality of Fitzgerald’s writing was affected by his alcoholism. Still, he continued to strive to support his lavish lifestyle, publishing his novel ‘Tender is the Night’ in 1934 and selling short stories to The Saturday Evening Post
. Not being enough, he left for Hollywood in 1937 to write screenplays, and three years late, in 1940, while developing his novel ‘The Love of the Last Tycoon’, Fitzgerald died of a heart attack, being only forty four years old.