Ernest Hemingway, born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899, began his writing career for newspaper in Kansas City at the young age of 17. At the outbreak of WWI, he volunteered to be in an Italian Army ambulance unit. What he saw after spending a lot of time in hospitals there inspired A Farewell to Arms
After the war, he returned to US to write for U.S. newspapers only to return to Europe to report important events. In 1921, he married Hadley Richardson
and moved to Paris to join the "Lost Generation" of ex-patriot writers and artists; he turned out to be a much better writer than a husband. In 1927 he divorced Richardson and married Pauline Pfeiffer
. Shortly after, they divorced after his return from reporting on the Spanish Civil War, which inspired For Whom the Bell Tolls.
In 1940 he married Martha Gellhorn
, but divorced when he met Mary Welsh
in London during WWII. After the war, he continued being an avid sportsman going on safari to Africa, during which two plane crashes left him in poor health for the rest of his life.
In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize "for his mastery of the art of narrative, demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style." He maintained homes in Key West, and Cuba, finally purchasing his home in Idaho where he committed suicide rather than being institutionalized for further electroshock therapy to treat hemochromatosis, and his ever growing paranoia about being watched by the F.B.I. He left behind his wife and three sons.