Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, to Dr. and Mrs. Clarence Hemingway. After high school, the young Hemingway shunned college for a series of adventures that included serving as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star, an ambulance driver for the Red Cross on the Italian front in World War I, a sparring partner for boxers in Chicago, and a writer for the Toronto Star.
During his stay in Chicago, he married Hadley Richardson, formerly of St. Louis, and the pair moved to Paris where he became a correspondent for the Toronto Times.
Hemingway quickly became involved with the American expatriate circle, which included Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos and others. After six years of marriage and one son John, (known as Jack or Bumby) Hemingway divorced Hadley in 1927 to marry Pauline Pfeiffer of Piggott, Arkansas, who was working in Paris.
Ernest and Pauline Hemingway returned to the states in 1928 and settled in Key West. The couple traveled extensively, including a defining trip to Africa (financed by Pauline's Uncle Gus Pfeiffer), trips to Wyoming and Montana, and frequent trips to Piggott to visit Pauline's family. During their 13-year marriage, the couple had two sons, Patrick and Gregory, and Hemingway wrote eight books and numerous short stories. Portions of A Farewell to Arms, published in 1929, were written in the Piggott barn studio. The movie version of the book, starring Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper, had its world premiere at the New Franklin Theater in Piggott in December 1932.
Always the adventurer, Hemingway served as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, where he became involved with Martha Gellhorn, also a war correspondent and established writer. After divorcing Pauline in 1940, he married Marthahis third St. Louis-born wife. In 1946, he married Mary Welsh, another journalist, who remained at his side until his death.
After his divorce from Pauline Pfeiffer, Hemingway maintained a home in Cuba just outside HavanaFinca Vigia (Lookout Farm). When the Cuban Revolution forced his departure in 1960, Hemingway and his wife, Mary, relocated to Ketchum, Idaho.
The Old Man and the Sea, one of Hemingway's best known stories, was published in 1952, earning him both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize. After achieving this great literary pinnacle, however, his health continued to deteriorate, and he grew increasingly paranoid. He committed suicide on July 2, 1961.
Hemingway, known affectionately by all as "Papa," lived life to the fullest. His reputation is legendary, not only as a writer, but as a fisherman, big-game hunter, skier, boxer, reporter, soldier, brawler, lover, and bullring and saloon aficionado.
Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center
1021 West Cherry Street, Piggott, Arkansas 72454
Telephone: 870-598-3487; Fax 870-598-1037
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