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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American novelist and short story writer, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his best known), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote numerous short stories, many of which treat themes of youth and promise, and age and despair.

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FRANCIS SCOTT FITZGERALD was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896, the son of a salesman, and namesake of his distant relative, Francis Scott Key. While attending Princeton University, he wrote a novel that a Scribner's editor thought good enough to publish, if Fitzgerald would revise it. Fitzgerald, however, was in academic trouble and left school to join the army. Stationed in Alabama, he met and proposed marriage to Zelda Sayre, who refused to marry him until his rewritten novel, "This Side of Paradise," made him an irresistible success. Two years later, the Fitzgeralds were leading a furious, booze-fueled social life, and his story collection of 1922, "Tales of the Jazz Age, " gave the era its name. In 1925, while sojourning in France--where he befriended Ernest Hemingway--he wrote" The Great Gatsby." But his relationship with Zelda grew destructive, and by 1932 she was in a mental institution and he had descended into alcoholism. Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood to work as a scriptwriter, and died there of a heart attack in 1940.

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