Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway Timeline

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Jul 21, 1899

Birth of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway is born in Oak Park, Illinois, a place he will later describe as a town of "wide lawns and narrow minds." He is the second of six children of Clarence Hemingway, a doctor, and Grace Hall Hemingway, a music teacher.

Dec 19, 2019

Boy in Girls' Clothes

From his infancy, Hemingway's mother begins a strange habit of dressing her son like a girl, complete with dresses and long hair, and his older sister as a boy, with overalls and cropped hair. When Ernest is six, she finally ends the charade and allows him to cut his long hair. The damage has already been done. In adulthood, his friend John dos Passos will describe Hemingway as the only man he ever knew who truly hated his mother.

Sep 1, 1913

Hemingway in High School

Ernest Hemingway enters Oak Park and River Forest High School. He proves to be an excellent student athlete who boxes, plays football and writes for the school newspaper and yearbook.

Dec 19, 2019

Cub Reporter

Hemingway graduates from Oak Park and River Forest High School. He opts not to go to college, instead taking a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star newspaper. The Star's style guidelines influence his writing style for the rest of his career: Use short sentences, short first paragraphs, and vigorous English.

Apr 30, 1918

World War I Ambulance Driver

Hemingway leaves the newspaper and attempts to join the U.S. Army so that he can fight in World War I. The Army rejects him because of poor eyesight, so he volunteers as a driver with the Red Cross Ambulance Corps.

Jul 8, 1918

Hemingway Wounded in Battle

While passing out supplies to soldiers in Italy, Hemingway is seriously injured by a trench mortar and machine gun. The blast leaves shell fragments in his legs. The Italian government awards him a Silver Medal of Military Valor for dragging a wounded Italian soldier to safety after the attack, but his career as an ambulance driver is over. While recuperating in a Milan hospital, Hemingway falls in love with an American nurse six years his senior named Agnes von Kurowsky. They make plans for her to join him in the United States.

Jan 1, 1919

End of Affair with Agnes von Kurowsky

Hemingway returns to the United States. Agnes soon writes to him to tell him that she has fallen in love with an Italian officer. Hemingway is heartbroken. Their romance inspires the relationship in A Farewell to Arms.

Dec 19, 2019

Reporter for Toronto Star

Hemingway moves to Toronto, Ontario to take a job as a reporter for the Toronto Star newspaper. He continues to write for the paper after moving to Chicago later in the year.

Sep 3, 1921

Hemingway's First Marriage

Hemingway marries Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. She turns out to be the first of four wives.

Dec 8, 1921

Parisian Expat

The newly married Hemingways set sail for Paris, France. Ernest's friend Sherwood Anderson has recommended Paris to Hemingway, saying his pal will like the expatriate scene there. Ernest works as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star and soon falls in with a circle of writers and artists that includes Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound.

Dec 19, 2019

Hemingway's First Publication

Hemingway's first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, is published. In the same year, Hemingway brings his pregnant wife to watch a bullfight in Pamplona, Spain, hoping it will toughen up their unborn son. Hemingway's first child, John "Jack" Hemingway, is born on 10 October… but it's unclear what influence the bulls had on him.

May 1, 1925

Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Ernest Hemingway meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at the Dingo Bar in Paris, just two weeks after the publication of The Great Gatsby. Their friendship will later fall apart in spectacular fashion, thanks to a toxic combination of professional rivalry and a feud between Hemingway and Fitzgerald's wife Zelda.

Dec 19, 2019

The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises, is published. The novel is critically acclaimed and commercially successful.

Dec 19, 2019

Divorce and Remarriage

Ernest Hemingway divorces Elizabeth Hadley on 4 April. One month later he marries Pauline Pfeiffer, a fashion writer. The same year sees publication of his short story collection Men Without Women.

Dec 19, 2019

Key West

Hemingway and Pauline leave Paris and move to a house in Key West, Florida. Ernest lives there on and off through the 1950s and completes the majority of his life's writing at the house. The couple's son Patrick is born on 28 June. Hemingway's father Clarence commits suicide on 6 December.

Dec 19, 2019

A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms is published. The novel's success makes Hemingway financially independent.

Nov 12, 1931

Birth of Gregory Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway's third and last child, Gregory Hemingway, is born. Hemingway calls the boy "Gig"; in adulthood, as a cross-dresser, Gregory chooses to call himself Gloria. This enrages his ultra-macho father.

Dec 19, 2019

Death in the Afternoon

Hemingway goes to Spain to research bullfighting for Death in the Afternoon, his critically lauded nonfiction book on the subject.

Dec 19, 2019

African Safari

Pauline and Ernest travel to Kenya for a ten-week safari. Hemingway falls in love with the continent. His subsequent trips there inspire many works of fiction and nonfiction, including the 1935 book Green Hills of Africa and the short stories "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."

Dec 19, 2019

Reports from the Spanish Civil War

The year sees the publication of his novel To Have and Have Not. Hemingway travels to Spain to report on Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He develops a strong anti-Franco stance and narrates the antifascist propaganda film "The Spanish Earth."

Dec 19, 2019

The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories

"The Fifth Column," Hemingway's only full-length play, and the first 49 short stories of his career are published in the aptly named book The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories.

Dec 19, 2019

Divorce and Remarriage, Again

Hemingway divorces Pauline on 4 November. Less than three weeks later, he marries the journalist Martha Gellhorn. The couple settles in Finca Vigia, the Cuban estate where Hemingway will live, off and on, for twenty years. The Spanish Civil War novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published in the same year.

Submarine Hunter

The United States enters World War II. Hemingway volunteers for the Navy, outfitting his fishing boat Pilar with guns to hunt for German submarines off the coast of Cuba. Though he never fires at one, the military will still award him a Bronze Star for his service in 1947.

Dec 19, 2019

Professional Rivalry With Martha Gellhorn

At his wife's urging, Hemingway goes to Europe as a war correspondent for Collier's magazine. Professional rivalry with Martha, who is also an accomplished war correspondent, soon leads to the breakup of their marriage.

Dec 21, 1945

Third Divorce

Ernest Hemingway divorces Martha Gellhorn.

Dec 19, 2019

Marriage to Mary Welsh

Ernest marries another war correspondent, Mary Welsh, his fourth and final wife, on 14 March. On 19 August, she miscarries due to an ectopic pregnancy. The couple will produce no children together.

Dec 19, 2019

Across the River and Into the Trees

Hemingway's novel Across the River and Into the Trees is published. It is the most poorly reviewed novel of his career.

Jun 28, 1951

Death of Hemingway's Mother

Hemingway's mother Grace dies.

Sep 1, 1952

The Old Man and the Sea

The novella The Old Man and the Sea is published in Life magazine. The story of Santiago the fisherman brings Hemingway commercial and critical success.

Dec 19, 2019

Pulitzer Prize

Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

Dec 10, 1954

Nobel Prize

Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the fifth American author to receive the award. Hemingway is still recovering from serious injuries sustained in two separate plane crashes and a bushfire accident earlier in the year and is unable to travel to Stockholm to receive the award. The American ambassador John C. Cabot accepts the prize on his behalf and reads his speech aloud.

Dec 19, 1961

Exodus From Cuba

Hemingway leaves Cuba forever following the 1959 revolution in which his acquaintance Fidel Castro leads communist revolutionaries to power. The Cuban government takes possession of his home, Finca Vigia, and will later turn it into a Hemingway museum

Jul 2, 1961


Suffering from depression, alcoholism, and numerous physical ailments, Ernest Hemingway commits suicide with a shotgun at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. He receives a Catholic burial, as the church judges him not to have been in his right mind at the time of his suicide. He is buried in Ketchum.

Dec 19, 1970

Islands in the Stream

Hemingway's novel Islands in the Stream is published posthumously.

Dec 19, 1972

The Nick Adams Stories

Hemingway's short story collection The Nick Adams Stories is published posthumously.

Dec 19, 1986

The Garden of Eden

Hemingway's novel The Garden of Eden is published posthumously.

Dec 19, 1999

True at First Light

True at First Light: a Fictional Memoir, edited by Hemingway's son Patrick, is published posthumously.

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