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Martha Gellhorn Bio

The third wife of Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn was born in St. Louis, Missouri November 8, 1908. She left college to pursue her career in journalism first appearing in The New Republic. She moved to France in 1930 with the determination to further her job in the field of foreign correspondent. Martha lived there for two years while working for the United Press bureau in Paris. She published a book on her experiences in the pacifist movement in 1934, What Mad Pursuit.

While vacationing in Key West, during Christmas of 1936, is when Gellhorn and Hemingway first met. They both decided to cover the Spanish Civil War and travel to Spain together. They lived together sporadically for four years before their marriage and were wed just three weeks after his divorce to his second wife. He became unhappy with her long absences while traveling for work, even writing her in 1943, "Are you a war correspondent, or wife in my bed?" During their marriage Gellhorn had several different affairs and was often absent from home for her work travels as a reporter. After four years of marriage she asked for a divorce claiming she had had enough.

Gellhorn committed suicide in London in 1998 after a long dealing with ovarian and liver cancer while going almost completely blind. Following her death, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism was created in her honor. In her lifetime she published a variety of books related to fiction, reportage and travel writings.

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