Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style which he termed the iceberg theory had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations.
Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
Hemingway maintained permanent residences in Key West, Florida (in the 1930s) and in Cuba (in the 1940s and 1950s). He almost died in 1954 after plane crashes on successive days, with injuries leaving him in pain and ill health for much of the rest of his life. In 1959 he bought a house in Ketchum, Idaho where, in mid-1961, he died by suicide with a shotgun.
Hemingway's mother, a well-known musician in the village, taught her son to play the cello despite his refusal to learn; though later in life he admitted the music lessons contributed to his writing style, evidenced for example in the "contrapuntal structure" of For Whom the Bell Tolls. As an adult Hemingway professed to hate his mother, although biographer Michael S. Reynolds points out that he shared similar energies and enthusiasms. Each summer the family traveled to Windemere on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. There young Ernest joined his father and learned to hunt, fish, and camp in the woods and lakes of Northern Michigan, early experiences that instilled a life-long passion for outdoor adventure and living in remote or isolated areas.
Hemingway attended Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park from 1913 until 1917. He was a good athlete, involved with a number of sports—boxing, track and field, water polo, and football; performed in the school orchestra for two years with his sister Marcelline; and received good grades in English classes. During his last two years at high school, he edited the Trapeze and Tabula (the school's newspaper and yearbook), where he imitated the language of sportswriters and used the pen name Ring Lardner Jr. a nod to Ring Lardner of the Chicago Tribune whose byline was "Line O'Type". Like Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, and Sinclair Lewis, Hemingway was a journalist before becoming a novelist. After leaving high school he went to work for The Kansas City Star as a cub reporter. Although he stayed there for only six months, he relied on the Star's style guide as a foundation for his writing: "Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.