Author, Artist. Zelda Fitzgerald received notoriety as a twentieth-century American author and artist. Born the youngest child of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Anthony Dickinson Sayre, she led a wild existence in the quiet town of Montgomery, Alabama. She met author F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1918 and after the successful publication of his first novel, "This Side of Paradise," they married on April 3, 1920 in New York City. Their only child, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, was born in October of 1921. Their marriage was by no means perfect; while their antics catapulted them to celebrity status and were fictionalized in husband's books, there were also fights, affairs, alcohol abuse and constant problems with debt. They moved to several places around New York, St. Paul and France for the first few years. She and her husband were made Jazz Age icons during the roaring 1920s, and she was called the “first American flapper.” At the age of 27, Zelda began ballet lessons with Madame Lubov Egorova in hopes of becoming a prima ballerina, which at her age was impossible. Beginning in 1930, Zelda would intermittently be committed to several mental institutions, in the United States as well as Europe, after being diagnosed with Schizophrenia. In 1932 while a patient at Johns Hopkins University’s Phipps Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, she published her only novel "Save Me the Waltz," which was an almost autobiographical account of her life to that point and did not sell well. In 1933 she published a play, "Scandalabra,” which was performed in Baltimore as an unsuccessful comedy. She also published several short stories and articles. Her paintings were numerous and in 1934 she had a New York City exhibit with mixed reviews. She created paper dolls, and sketches which some were intended to be passed on to her daughter and grandchildren. For her last admission to a mental hospital in 1936, she committed herself to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. After her husband suddenly died of a heart attack in 1940, she began a second novel, "Caesar's Things" which was never finished and covered similar ground as her first book. During the night of March 10, 1948, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald perished with eight other women in a fire at Highland Hospital. Although she never obtained the success that she sought, her biography has been relived in books, television series and films.
Bio by: Sara Megan Kay