The 1929 novella “A Farewell to Arms” earned Ernest Hemingway widespread recognition in the literary world. It was based partly on his experience as a soldier and ambulance driver in his younger days.

A string of successful titles followed, such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and the award-winning “The Old Man and the Sea.”

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with the latter in 1953, contributing to his Nobel Prize in Literature a year later.

His lucid writing style strongly influenced British and American fiction in the 20th century. In addition to novels, Hemingway was also noted for his masculinity. 

His adventurous life stories inspired many of the themes in Hemingway’s works. His death, on the other hand, was as tragic as any.

On July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway was believed to have killed himself in his home in Ketchum, Idaho. His wife was the first to discover the body.

No one knows precisely why the author committed suicide, but there were some indications he had suffered from depression and alcoholism.

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10 /10 Wounded And Decorated Soldier

Long before his writing years, Ernest Hemingway had been in various jobs. One of his first was as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star, and then World War I got underway.

He joined the American ambulance unit deployed to the Italian front. Later, he would move on from the position of an active soldier in an Italian infantry regiment.

He was wounded in battle and twice decorated. During World War II, he was once again sent to the battlefield but as a reporter.

9 /10 Not An Easy Trade

Considering his previous professions, anybody would assume being an author was relatively comfortable work. That said, Hemingway, himself once mentioned only fools thought writing was an easy trade.

He had an expressive flavorful writing style that scores of authors emulated. Throughout his life, Hemingway was married four times; he had three sons by the first two.

His last wife was Mary Welsh, a journalist, and author, whom he married in 1946. The couple would travel the world together until his death 15 years later.






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8 /10 Dawn To Noon

His first three marriages (to Hadley Richardson in 1921, Pauline Pfeiffer in 1927, and Martha Gellhorn in 1940) ended in a divorce.

Hemingway and Welsh married in Cuba and settled in the country for several years before traveling the world and finally returning to Idaho, United States.

A reporter who visited their home said that Hemingway’s writing routine began at dawn and finished around noon. “The Old Man and the Sea” were written in Cuba, and it would be his last major work of fiction.

7 /10 To Idaho

Hemingway left Cuba for good in July 1960. At the time, Hemingway had already bought a home just outside Ketchum, Idaho.

It was after getting back to the United States that his condition took a turn for the worse. Between December 1960 and June 1961, he was admitted twice to Mayo Clinic and received multiple electroconvulsive therapies.

Two days after being released from the facility, Hemingway shot himself with a double-barreled shotgun in his home. Chuck Atkinson, a family friend, released the statement on the death of the author.

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6 /10 Accidental Suicide

The statement said something to the effect that Ernest Hemingway accidentally shot himself to death on July 2, 1961, at 7:30 a.m. According to Atkinson, it was the statement that Mrs. Hemingway wanted.

No suicide note was found at the location. The coroner released a statement saying the death was self-inflicted; the gunshot wound was in the head.

It could have been a deliberate action or otherwise. There was never a further formal inquest regarding the incident.

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5 /10 Good Spirits

Atkinson, a local businessman and a personal friend for more than 20 years, met with Hemingway the day before the incident.

According to Atkinson, there was nothing peculiar or out of the ordinary about the author. They didn’t talk about anything of great significance.

Atkinson even thought that Hemingway was in good spirits that day. Atkinson had no idea it would be his last conversation with the famous novelist. The funeral and burial would be on Friday, July 7, 1961, in Ketchum.

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4 /10 A Rack Full Of Guns

Mrs. Hemingway found the body near a rack filled with the gun collection. Some friends said Hemingway probably decided to go hunting, but the hunting season in Idaho was closed at the time.

No one knows what led him to commit suicide or how the incident happened, and there was neither any witness nor evidence of foul play.

The last significant event in his previous few days was receiving treatment for high blood pressure at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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3 /10 Mayo Clinic

Hemingway was admitted to Mayo Clinic first on November 30, 1960. After about two months of intensive treatments, he left the facility on January 23, 1961.

Hemingway was once again admitted to the clinic on April 25. About a month later, a spokesperson for Mayo described an improvement in his health.

However, it would take another month until Hemingway was released from the facility.

Despite the progress, some reports said that the death of actor and friend Gary Cooper (May 13, 1961) put the author in sorrow.

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2 /10 Nobel Prize

Ernest Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. While the prize was for all his contribution and work, the citation mentioned “The Old Man and the Sea.”

A colleague of the Royal Swedish Academic of Literature once said that Hemingway was due to receive the award eventually.

So they might as well decide before he killed himself in some adventure. It was a somewhat light remark, which unfortunately turned out to be true.

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1 /10 Unpublished Novels

At the time of his death, Ernest Hemingway still had quite a few books yet to be published. The non-fiction “The Dangerous Summer” finally saw the light of day in 1985.

“Islands in the Stream,” the novel meant to revive his reputation after the negative reviews for “Across the River and into the Trees,” was published in 1970. Other posthumous books include “The Garden of Eden” and “True at First Light.”

Since 2011, the Cambridge University Press has also published five volumes of Ernest Hemingway’s letters. 

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