Ernest Hemingway Biography

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Ernest hemingway biography


Hemingway was named 'Ernest' after his grandfather (Ernest Hall) and born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park near Chicago.
His parents Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hall, were conservative and Protestant Religious.
His father was a country doctor and a volunteer in the Civil War. His mother was a dominant and old fashioned woman who teached music. The young Ernest attended Oak Park High School, played football, boxed, develloped a macho behavior but he excelled in English classes.

After highschool he started a career as reporter for the
'Kansas City Star'.
He went as a volunteer to the Italian front and was wounded when an ammunition factory exploded. At the end of the World War I, he had problems of adaptation to the quite life in Oak Park, he then moved to Toronto and found a job with the 'Toronto Star' newspaper.

Ernest Hemingway house

Hemingway House


On september 1921, Ernest Hemingway married his first wife Hadley Richardson. They moved to Paris where he wrote his first important novel:
'The Sun Also Rises'. A few years later he divorced to marry his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, they lived together at Key West, Florida in 1931. In 1936 he travelled to Spain to report on the Civil War. After the victory of the Fascist Franco Regime he returned to Key West, divorced and married his third wife, Martha Gellhorn.


He had already visited Cuba, but from 1939 he lived on the island, where he wrote his masterpiece: 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. The first chapter of this novel was written in his room in hotel AMBOS MUNDOS at Obispo street, Old Havana. He bought a country house named FINCA VIGIA near Havana. Instead of writing, he passed his time with fishing and drinking, for more than ten years his literary output stopped, due to writers block and his doubts.
Through his friendship with the US ambassador in Havana he became a "freelance-volunteer-spy" for the FBI.
His fishing boat the 'Pilar' was transformed into a "warship", a so called"Q-boat" to hunt for German submarines that treaded the Caribbean.

In this way he smartly managed that the US Government paid the bills of his fishing and drinking trips on the sea.
In 1945 he divorced and married his fourth wife: Mary Welsh.
During these years Hemingway suffered from depressions, doubts and writers block, he became a heavy drinker and a legend in Havana everybody called him PAPA HEMINGWAY . He sought comfort in his favourite hang-outs: the 'Floridita' and in 'El Bodeguita del Medio' for his Mojito's. It is been said that his drinking record was 16 Daiquiri's in the Floridita where had a reserved seat at the bar.

Giorgio Fuentes

Was a fisherman and steersman of the Hemingway boat 'PILAR'. It's been said that Santiago, the fisherman in the Hemingway bestseller 'The Old Man and the Sea' was based on the character of Fuentes.

The Old man and the Sea

The book was written by Hemingway in Cuba (1951). The novel describes the battle between an old fisherman and a giant marlin.

Cojimar - The Hemingway Museum

Hemingway found his inpiration for 'The Old Man and the Sea' in a small fishing village COJIMAR 10km east of Havana. In Cojimar is a small Hemingway museum where his fishing boat the Pilar is exhibited.
Each year the HEMINGWAY FISHING TOURNAMENT is held at the Marina Hemingway.


In 1960 he left Cuba and returned to the States after twenty years in Cuba. He got severe health problems, high blood pressure and liver problems and received treatment in Ketchum, Idaho.
He got depressive and on July 2, 1961 he commited suicide with a shotgun.


In 1954 Hemingway won the Nobel prize for literature.
A year before in 1953 He received the Pulitzer Prize for 'The Old Man and the Sea'.
Ernest Hemingway Quote: “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”


He has left a an enormous literary legacy:

  • 1913 Three Stories and Ten Poems
  • 1915 In Our Time
  • 1926 The Torrents of Spring
  • 1926 The Sun Also Rises
  • 1927 Men Without Women
  • 1929 A Farewell to Arms
  • 1932 Death in the Afternoon
  • 1933 Winner Takes Nothing
  • 1935 Green Hills of Africa
  • 1936 The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
  • 1936 The Snows of the Kilimanjaro
  • 1937 To Have and Have Not
  • 1938 The Fifth Column and First Forty-Nine Stories
  • 1940 For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • 1950 Across the River and Into the Trees
  • 1951 The Old Man and the Sea
  • 1964 A Moveable Feast *
  • 1967 By-Line *
  • 1969 Four Stories of the Civil War *
  • 1970 Islands in the Stream *
  • 1973 The Nick Adams Stories *
  • 1981 Selected Letters *
  • 1985 The Dangerous Summer *
  • 1986 The Garden of Eden *

  • * Posthumous published Hemingway works
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