Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (he was a distant relative of the author of our National Anthem) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896. His first writing to appear in print was a detective story for his school newspaper when he was age thirteen. From 1911–1913 he attended the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey. There he published A Luckless Santa Claus (1912) in the Newman News. Fitzgerald entered Princeton University in 1917, but encountered academic difficulties and soon joined the army. After his discharge in 1919 he lived briefly in New York City before returning to St. Paul to concentrate on his writing. His masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, was published in 1925. The book received critical praise, but sales of it and subsequent novels were poor. Most of his income came from his 160 magazine stories and 1930s Hollywood work, in which he took little pride. Fitzgerald had been an alcoholic since his college days, which left him in poor health and contributed to his death by heart attack in 1940. He died believing himself a failure, but today he is regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest writers.

Christmas Classics:
Graphic Classics Volume 19

144 pages, color, $15



illustration ©2010 Simon Gane