Nobel Prize in Literature Recipient, Pulitzer Prize Recipient. Ernest Hemingway, an American author, received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature, according to the Nobel Prize committee "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in "The Old Man and the Sea" and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style." "The "Old Man and the Sea" was published in 1952 , receiving the Pulitzer Prize the same year. Born one of six children, his father was a physician, and mother, a music teacher. He was the editor of his high school's newspaper and yearbook. As with many authors, his first professional writing experience was being a newspaper reporter; his was with the "Kansas City Star." During World War I, he became an Italian ambulance driver as he had failed the army's vision test. On July 8, 1918, he was seriously wounded in both legs with shrapnel, yet helped many Italian soldiers to safety. For this action, he received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery. Back in the United States while recuperating, he wrote the two-part semi-autobiography short story, which was published in 1925 as "Our Time." In 1921 he became a foreign correspondent in Paris for the "Toronto Star." While in Paris, he received his first head injury when a skylight fell on him lacerating his forehead. In 1922 upon returning to Toronto, he published two collections of poems and short stories. By 1924 he had returned to Paris, then traveling to Spain, Austria, and other countries. By the time he had published "The Sun Also Rises," he had converted to Catholicism in 1927 with a second marriage. His father's 1929 suicide was disturbing along with his first wife's father's 1903 suicide. Embracing a vagabond-life style, his family settled in Key West, where he published short stories in magazines and the novel, "Farewell to Arms." While in Montana in 1930, he had a serious car crash, causing a compound fracture of his arm, injuring the nerve of his writing hand, and resulting in a painful year-long recuperation. In 1932 he published "Death in the Afternoon," a non-fiction on bullfighting. His 1933 African trip became the adventure for several short stories including "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." While in Africa, he had the adventure of being hospitalized after contacting amoebic dysentery with a collapsed intestine. A non-fiction, "Green Hills of Africa" was published in 1935. After returning to Key West, he purchased a boat and sailed around the Caribbean. In 1937 leaving his family, he became a reporter covering the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. While in Spain, he published "To Have and Have Not" in 1937 along with his only play, "The Fifth Column," which was published in 1939 with 49 short stories. He was residing in Idaho in the summers and Cuba in the winters. In July of 1940 he finished "For Whom the Bells Toll," which became a Book-of-the-Month Club choice, sold half a million copies within months, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. For a year, he followed his wife with her work assignment to China, but left shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During World War II, he was working as a reporter in Europe from May of 1944 to March of 1945 when he was in another serious car crash and was hospitalized with a head injury. With a bandage still wrapped around his head, he covered D-day on June 6, 1944. Although the press was not allowed, according to the Geneva Convention, to participate in combat, he did become active in a leadership role to the point that charges were brought against him, which were dropped as he claimed only an advisory role. For his bravery during World War II, he received in 1947 the United States Bronze Star for recognition of having been "under fire in combat areas in order to obtain an accurate picture of conditions." After the war, his life became depressing with one incident after another: Another car accident gave him a head injury and smashed his knee; his fourth wife had an ectopic pregnancy; many of his fellow literary colleagues were dying; and his writing was not that successful. He was abusing alcohol, suffering from severe headaches, high blood pressure, weight problems, and eventually diabetes like his father. In eight weeks, he wrote the award-winning "The Old Man and the Sea," which made him an international celebrity. A month later he left for his second trip to Africa, where he was in two almost-fatal airplane crashes. The first caused a head injury and the next day on the way to more advance medical treatment, the second plane crashed with him receiving burns and impacting his head injury to the point of having spinal fluid leaking from a skull fracture. Later, he learned that he had a fractured lumbar disc, injuries to his liver and a kidney, and a dislocated shoulder. A few months later he was caught in a bush fire receiving second degree burns to his legs, torso, face, arms and hands. Remaining in chronic pain for the rest of his life, he was not able to travel to Stockholm to accept the Nobel Prize but sent an acceptance speech. All of 1955 he was bedridden, but in October of 1956, he rallied to travel to Paris. He learned his 1929 trunk was still in storage at the Ritz Hotel. Opening it, a new energy came as he found notes for manuscripts from by-gone years. Returning to Cuba, he wrote his memoirs, "A Moveable Feast" and finished other projects. On July 25, 1960, he and his wife left Cuba for the last time, leaving art and manuscripts in a bank vault in Havana. After treatments for Major Depression at the Mayo Clinic, he started declining in physical as well as mental health rapidly. On July 2, 1961 using a shotgun, he shot himself in the head at his home. That year he had been diagnosed with heredity hemochromatosis, which is a high concentration of iron in tissues resulting in mental and physical deterioration. His multiple head injuries also could had led to his depression as well as his heavy alcohol intake. At first, his death was called an accidental death, thus he was given a Catholic funeral. Not only did he commit suicide like his father, but a brother and sister also did. In 1961, their Cuban home was confiscated by Fidel Castro's government along with his library of thousands of books and art pieces. Later, his widow met with Castro to obtain some of the paintings, manuscripts and papers. All his papers were donated to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Three of his residences are on the United States National Register of Historical Homes: The cottage at Walloon lake in Michigan, the Key West, Florida house, and his home in Ketchum, Idaho. Other residences have been made into museums. The Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award is annually presented to a first-time American author of fiction. In all he wrote ten novels, with three being released posthumously by his wife. He authored a dozen collections of short stories and poems, and he wrote nine non-fictions with five being released for publication posthumously. He married four times and had three sons.
Bio by: Linda Davis