#OnThisDay: Ernest Hemingway

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Ernest Hemingway working on For Whom the Bell Tolls at Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, 1939. Source: Wikipedia

Ernest Hemingway working on For Whom the Bell Tolls at Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, 1939. Source: Wikipedia

A hundred and eighteen years old today, American writer and Nobel Laureate, Ernest Hemingway was born in Chicago suburb, Oak Park, Illinois. Upon graduating in 1917, Hemingway moved to Kansas City, Missouri, working as a newspaper reporter. As World War 1 occurred, he decided serve; however, Hemingway was rejected. This did not stop him; nonetheless, he served as a volunteer ambulance driver until being injured (Young, 2017). Sounds familiar? His experiences served as the premise of novel, A Farewell to Arms.

After World War 1, Hemingway returned to the United States continued as a newspaper reporter in the U.S. and Canada; however, he soon became a foreign correspondent in Europe. During his tenure, he met with numerous American authors in Paris, France, discussing various novel publications, leading Hemingway to write his first novel, The Sun Also Rises in 1926. As World War 2 broke out, he served as a war correspondent by covering events such as D-Day and Battle of the Bulge (Ernest Hemingway, n.d.; Young, 2017).

Book Cover of Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bells Tolls, n.d. Source: Typepad.com

Book Cover of For Whom the Bells Tolls, n.d. Source: Typepad.com

Later in Hemingway’s life, he became a sportsman. He attended safaris and fishing in Africa and the Caribbean, particularly in Cuba, where he temporary lived. His love of fishing was the basis of his short story, 1953 Pulitzer Prize winner and 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway moved back to Ketchum, Idaho, following the Cuban Revolution (Young, 2017).

After returning to the United States, Hemingway struggled his bouts of anxiety and major depression. He sought out a cure for his depression by use of electroshock therapy at the Mayo Clinic; however, upon his return to Ketchum, Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961 (Young, 2017).

Though his life ended abruptly, Hemingway lives on through his novels. Today, let us honor and remember a truly remarkable American writer, Ernest Hemingway. No one has, nor will, match his style. In our special and rare book collection, UASC has two of his novels, available for viewing and reading inside the department.


Ernest Hemingway – biographical. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1954/hemingway-bio.html

Young, P. (2017, June 15). Ernest Hemingway. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ernest-Hemingway

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