Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest 20th-century American writers. The legend which developed around his impressive personality was that of a man of action, a devil-may-care adventurer, a brave war correspondent, an amateur boxer, a big-game hunter and deep-sea fisherman, the victim of three car accidents and two plane crashes, a man of four wives and many loves, but above all a brilliant writer of stories and novels.
Hemingway was born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was a doctor who initiated the boy into the outdoor life of hunting, camping, and fishing. While at school, Hemingway played football and wrote articles for the school newspaper.
In 1917, when the United States entered the World War I, Hemingway left home and schooling to become a reporter for “The Kansas City Star”. He wanted to enlist for the war but was rejected because of an eye injury from football. Finally he managed to go to Europe as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross. He joined the Italian army and was seriously wounded.
His war experience and adventurous life provided the background for his many short stories and novels. He achieved success with “A Farewell to Arms”, the story of a love affair between an American lieutenant and an English nurse during the World War I.
Hemingway actively supported the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and wrote another successful novel of war, love and death. It was “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
During the World War II Hemingway was a war correspondent first in China and then in Europe. He fought in France and helped to liberate Paris. In his later years Hemingway lived mostly in Cuba where his passion for deep-sea fishing provided the background for “The Old Man and the Sea”. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.
Unwilling to live with the inevitable physical aging, Hemingway committed suicide, as his father had done under similar circumstances.