F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and short story writer. He was best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term which he popularized. During his lifetime, he published four novels, four collections of short stories, and 164 short stories. Although he temporarily achieved popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald only received wide critical and popular acclaim after his death. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
Fitzgerald was born into an upper middle-class family in St. Paul, Minnesota, but was primarily raised in New York. He attended Princeton University, but due to a failed relationship and a preoccupation with writing, he dropped out in 1917 to join the Army. While stationed in Alabama, he fell in love with rich socialite Zelda Sayre. Although she initially rejected him due to his financial situation, Zelda agreed to marry Fitzgerald after he had published the commercially successful This Side of Paradise (1920).
Fitzgerald spent the first decade of his childhood primarily in Buffalo, New York, where his father worked for Procter & Gamble, with a short interlude in Syracuse, (between January 1901 and September 1903). Edward Fitzgerald had earlier worked as a wicker furniture salesman; he joined Procter & Gamble when the business failed. His parents, both Catholic, sent him to two Catholic schools on the West Side of Buffalo, first Holy Angels Convent (1903–1904, now disused) and then Nardin Academy (1905–1908).
Fitzgerald's formative years in Buffalo revealed him to be a boy of unusual intelligence with a keen early interest in literature. His mother's inheritance and donations from an aunt allowed the family to live a comfortable lifestyle. In a rather unconventional style of parenting, Fitzgerald attended Holy Angels with the arrangement that he go for only half a day and was allowed to choose which half.