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Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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A short look at the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the historical context of The Great Gatsby...

Birth of Edward Fitzgerald at Glenmary farm near Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Birth of Anthony D. Sayre in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Birth of Mary (Mollie) McQuillan in St. Paul, Minnesota. Birth of Minnie Buckner Machen in Eddyville, Kentucky.
June 1884
Marriage of Anthony Sayre and Minnie Machen at Mineral Mount, near Eddyville, Kentucky.
13 February 1890
Marriage of Edward Fitzgerald and Mollie McQuillan in Washington, D.C.
24 September 1896
Birth of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at 481 Laurel Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota.
April 1898
After failure of his St. Paul furniture factory, Edward Fitzgerald takes job as salesman with Procter & Gamble in Buffalo, New York.
24 July 1900
Birth of Zelda Sayre at South Street, Montgomery, Alabama.
January 1901
Fitzgerald family moves to Syracuse, New York.
July 1901
Birth of Annabel Fitzgerald, FSFs sister.
September 1903
Fitzgerald family moves back to Buffalo.
Sayre family moves to 6 Pleasant Avenue, Zeldas home until her marriage.
March 1908
Edward Fitzgerald loses his job.
July 1908
The Fitzgerald family returns to St. Paul.  FSF enters St. Paul Academy in September.
Judge Sayre of the City Court is appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.
October 1909
Publication of The Mystery of the Raymond Mortgage in St. Paul Academy Now & ThenFSFs first appearance in print.
August 1911
FSF writes his first play, The Girl from Lazy J, produced in St. Paul.
September 1911
FSF enters Newman School, Hackensack, New Jersey.
August 1912
Production of FSFs second play, The Captured Shadow, in St. Paul.
November 1912
FSF meets Father Sigourney Fay and Shane Leslie.
August 1913
Production of FSFs third play, Coward,”  in St. Paul.
September 1913
FSF enters Princeton University with Class of 1917; meets Edmund Wilson 16 and John Peale Bishop 17.
September 1914
Production of FSFs fourth play, Assorted Spirits, in St. Paul.
Fall 1914
FSF contributes to Princeton Tiger.  Zelda Sayre enters Sidney Lanier High School.
December 1914
Production of Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi!, FSFs first Princeton Triangle Club show.
4 January 1915
FSF meets Ginevra King, his first serious romantic interest, in St. Paul.
April 1915
Shadow Laurels, a play, is FSFs first publication in Nassau Literary Magazine.
June 1915
FSFs The Ordeal, later thoroughly revised as Benediction, is his first story published in Nassau Literary Magazine.
28 November 1915
FSF drops out of Princeton for remainder of junior year.
December 1915
Production by Triangle Club of  The Evil Eye, for which FSF wrote lyrics.
September 1916
FSF returns to Princeton as member of Class of 1918.
December 1916
Production of Triangle Club of Safety First, for which FSF wrote lyrics.
26 October 1917
FSF receives commission as infantry 2nd lieutenant.
20 November 1917
FSF reports to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; begins novel The Romantic Egotist.
End of February 1918
FSF completes first draft of The Romantic Egotist on leave at Princeton; submits novel to Scribners.
15 March 1918
FSF reports to Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky.
April 1918
FSF transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia.
May 1918
Zelda Sayre  graduates from Sidney Lanier High School.
June 1918
FSF reports to Camp Sheridan near Montgomery, Alabama.
July 1918
FSF and Zelda Sayre meet at country club dance in Montgomery.
August 1918
Scribners declines The Romantic Egotist; revised typescript rejected in October.
26 October 1918
FSF reports to Camp Mills, Long Island, to await embarkation; war ends before unit sent overseas.
Late November 1918
FSF returns to Camp Sheridan; becomes aide-de-camp to General J. A. Ryan.
February 1919
FSF discharged from army. Planning to marry Zelda Sayre, he goes to New York and works for the Barron Collier advertising agency; lives in room at 200 Claremont Avenue and tries unsuccessfully to break into the magazine market.
Spring 1919
FSF visits Montgomery in April, May and June as Zelda Sayre remains reluctant to commit herself to marriage.
June 1919
Zelda Sayre breaks engagement.
July-August 1919
FSF quits advertising job and returns to St. Paul; rewrites novel while living with parents at 599 Summit Avenue.
September 1919
The Smart Set publishes Babes in the Woods, FSFs first commercial story sale.
16 September 1919
Maxwell Perkins of Scribners accepts novel, now titled This Side of Paradise.
November 1919
FSF becomes client of Harold Ober at Reynolds agency. First sale to The Saturday Evening Post: Head and Shoulders.  FSF visits Zelda Sayre in Montgomery.
November 1919-February 1920
The Smart Set publishes The Debutante, Porcelain and Pink, Benediction, and Dalyrimple Goes Wrong.
Mid-January 1920
FSF lives in boarding house at 2900 Prytania Street in New Orleans, where he stays less than a month. Engagement to Zelda Sayre resumes during his visits to Montgomery.
March-May 1920
Myra Meets His Family, The Camels Back, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, The Ice Palace, and The Offshore Pirate appear in The Saturday Evening Post.
26 March 1920
Publication of This Side of Paradise.
3 April 1920
Marriage of FSF and Zelda Sayre at rectory of St. Patricks Cathedral in New York. Honeymoon at Biltmore Hotel.
May-September 1920
Fitzgeralds rent house at Westport, Connecticut, where FSF works on The Beautiful and Damned.
July 1920
Publication of  May Day in The Smart Set.
Summer 1920
Fitzgeralds drive to Montgomery; return to Westport by mid-August.
10 September 1920
Publication of Flappers and Philosophers, FSFs first short-story collection.
October 1920-April 1921
Fitzgeralds take apartment at 38 West 59th Street, New York City.
3 May-July 1921
Fitzgeralds make first trip to Europe; sail to England, then visit France and Italy. Return home and visit Montgomery.
August 1921
Fitzgeralds travel to St. Paul; rent house at Dellwood, White Bear Lake.
September 1921-March 1922
The Beautiful and Damned serialized in Metropolitan Magazine.
26 October 1921
Birth of the Fitzgeralds’ daughter, Scottie.
November 1921-June 1922
Fitzgeralds rent house at 626 Goodrich Avenue, St. Paul.
4 March 1922
Publication of The Beautiful and Damned.
2 April 1922
Friend Husbands Latest, a tongue-in-cheek review of The Beautiful and Damned that is ZFs first commercial publication, appears in The New York Tribune.
Summer 1922
Fitzgeralds move to White Bear Yacht Club.
June 1922
Publication of The Diamond as Big as the Ritzin The Smart Set.
22 September 1922
Publication of Tales of the Jazz Age, FSFs second collection of short stories.
Mid-October 1922-April 1924
Fitzgeralds rent house at 6 Gateway Drive in Great Neck, Long Island. Friendship with Ring Lardner.
December 1922
Publication of Winter Dreams in Metropolitan Magazine.
27 April 1923
Publication of FSFs play The Vegetable.
19 November 1923
The Vegetable fails at tryout in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
5 April 1924
How to live on $36,000 a Year published in The Saturday Evening Post.
Mid-April 1924
Fitzgeralds sail for France.
May 1924
Fitzgeralds visit Paris, then leave for Riviera; stop at Grimms Park Hotel in Hyres and settle in June at Villa Marie, Valescure, St. Raphal.
June 1924
Publication of Absolution in The American Mercury.
July 1924
ZF becomes involved with French aviator Edouard Jozan.  Publication of “‘The Sensible Thing’” in Liberty.
Summer 1924 
Fitzgeralds meet Gerald and Sara Murphy at Cap dAntibes.
 Summer-Fall 1924
FSF writes The Great Gatsby.
ca. 10 October 1924
FSF writes to Maxwell Perkins about promising young American writer Ernest Hemingway.
October 1924-Februrary 1925
Fitzgeralds at Htel des Princes, Rome, where FSF revises galleys of The Great Gatsby.
February 1925
Fitzgeralds travel to Capri; at Hotel Tiberio.
10 April 1925
Publication of The Great Gatsby.
Late April 1925
Fitzgeralds move to Paris; rent apartment at 14 rue de Tilsitt.
May 1925
FSF meets Ernest Hemingway in Dingo bar.
Summer 1925
FSF starts planning Francis Melarky version of Tender Is the Night.
August 1925
Fitzgeralds leave Paris for month at Antibes.
January 1926
ZF takes cure at Salies-de-Barn.
January and February 1926
Publication of The Rich Boy in Redbook Magazine.
February 1926
Play version of The Great Gatsby, by Owen Davis, produced on Broadway.
26 February 1926
Publication of All the Sad Young Men, FSFs third short-story collection.
Early March 1926
Fitzgeralds return to Riviera and rent Villa Paquita at Juan-les-Pins.
May 1926
Hemingways join Murphys and Fitzgeralds on Riviera. Fitzgeralds move to Villa St. Louis, Juan-les-Pins where they remain until end of 1926. How to Waste Material: A Note on My Generation is published in The Bookman.
December 1926
Fitzgeralds return to America.
January 1927
Fitzgeralds go to Hollywood so that FSF can work on Lipstick (unproduced) for United Artists. They meet young actress Lois Moran.
March 1927- March 1928
Fitzgeralds rent Ellerslie, near Wilmington, Delaware. ZF begins ballet lessons.
April 1928
Fitzgeralds return to Europe.
April-August 1928
Fitzgeralds rent apartment at 58 rue de Vaugirard, Paris.
28 April 1928
Publication in The Saturday Evening Post of “The Scandal Detectives,” first of eight-story Basil Duke Lee series.
Mid-summer 1928
ZF begins ballet training with Mme. Lubov Egorova in Paris.
7 October 1928
Fitzgeralds return to America.
October 1928-March 1929
Fitzgeralds at Ellerslie.
2 March 1929
Publication of The Last of the Belles in The Saturday Evening Post.
March 1929
Fitzgeralds return to Europe; travel from Genoa along Riviera, then to Paris.
June 1929
Fitzgeralds leave Paris for Riviera; rent Villa Fleur des Bois, Cannes.
July 1929
Publication of ZFs The Original Follies Girl in College Humor.
October 1929
Fitzgeralds return by car to Paris by way of Provence; take apartment at 10 rue Pergolese.
February 1930
FSF and ZF travel to North Africa.
5 April 1930
Publication in The Saturday Evening Post of First Blood, first of five-story Josephine Perry series.
23 April-11 May 1930  
Suffering her first emotional breakdown, ZF is hospitalized at Malmaison Clinic outside Paris; she discharges herself.
22 May 1930 
ZF is hospitalized at Val-Mont Clinic in Glion, Switzerland.
5 June 1930
ZF enters Prangins clinic at Nyon, Switzerland.
Summer and Fall 1930
FSF lives in Switzerland.
11 October 1930 
“One Trip Abroad,” the story of an American couple who deteriorate in Europe,  published in The Saturday Evening Post.
26 January 1931
Death of Edward Fitzgerald. FSF returns alone to America to attend burial; reports to Sayres about ZF.
21 February 1931
Publication of Babylon Revisited in The Saturday Evening Post.
July 1931
Fitzgeralds spend two weeks at Lake Annecy, France.
15 August 1931
Emotional Bankruptcy published in The Saturday Evening Post.
15 September 1931
ZF released from Prangins. Fitzgeralds return to America.
September 1931-Spring 1932
Fitzgeralds rent house at 819 Felder Avenue in Montgomery. FSF goes to Hollywood alone to work on Red-Headed Woman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
17 November 1931
Death of Judge Sayre.
12 February 1932
ZF suffers second breakdown; enters Phipps Psychiatric Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
March 1932
ZF completes first draft of her novel, Save Me the Waltz, while at Phipps Clinic.
20 May 1932-November 1933
FSF rents La Paix at Towson outside Baltimore.
26 June 1932
ZF discharged from Phipps; joins family at La Paix.
October 1932 
Crazy Sunday published in The American Mercury.
7 October 1932
Publication of ZFs novel, Save Me the Waltz.
26 June-1 July 1933
ZFs play, Scandalabra, produced by Vagabond Junior Players in Baltimore.
11 October 1933  
Ring, FSFs memorial tribute to Ring Lardner, published in The New Republic.
December 1933
FSF rents house at 1307 Park Avenue, Baltimore.
January-April 1934
Serialization of Tender Is the Night in Scribners Magazine.
12 February 1934 
ZFs third breakdown; returns to Phipps Clinic.
March 1934  
ZF Transferred to Craig House, Beacon, New York.
29 March-30 April 1934
ZFs art exhibition in New York.
12 April 1934
Publication of Tender Is the Night.
19 May 1934
ZF transferred back to Sheppard-Pratt Hospital outside Baltimore.
February 1935
FSF at Oak Hall Hotel in Tryon, North Carolina.
20 March 1935
Publication of Taps at Reveille, FSFs fourth short-story collection.
May 1935
FSF spends summer at Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina.
September 1935
FSF takes apartment at Cambridge Arms, Charles Street, Baltimore.
November 1935
FSF at Skyland Hotel in Hendersonville, North Carolina; begins writing The Crack-Up essays.
February-April 1936
The Crack-Up essays published in Esquire.
8 April 1936
ZF enters Highland Hospital in Asheville.
July-December 1936
FSF returns to Grove Park Inn.
August 1936
Hemingways The Snows of Kilimanjarowith its reference to poor Scott Fitzgeraldis published in Esquire, which includes in the same issue FSFs Afternoon of an Author.
September 1936
Death of Mollie McQuillan Fitzgerald in Washington. Scottie enters Ethel Walker School in Connecticut.
January-June 1937
FSF at Oak Hall Hotel in Tryon, North Carolina.
6 March 1937
“‘Trouble,’” FSFs last story in The Saturday Evening Post, is published.
July 1937
Deeply in debt, FSF goes to Hollywood for third time with six-month MGM contract at $1,000 a week. Lives at Garden of Allah on Sunset Boulevard; meets movie columnist Sheilah Graham 14 July.
July 1937-February 1938
FSF works on Three Comrades script, his only screen credit.
First week of September 1937
FSF visits ZF in Asheville; they spend four days in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
December 1937
FSFs MGM contract renewed for one year at $1,250 a week.
February 1938-January 1939
 FSF works on scripts for Infidelity, Marie Antoinette, The Women, and Madame Curie.
End of March 1938
Fitzgeralds spend Easter at Virginia Beach, Virginia.
April 1938
FSF rents bungalow at Malibu Beach, California.
September 1938
Scottie Fitzgerald enters Vassar College.
November 1938
FSF moves to cottage at Belly Acres, Encino.
December 1938
FSFs MGM contract not renewed.
January 1939
FSF works briefly on Gone With the Wind.
10-12 February 1939
FSF travels to Dartmouth College with Budd Schulberg to work on Winter Carnival; fired for drunkenness.  FSF is hospitalized in New York.
March 1939-October 1940
FSF takes free-lance jobs at Paramount, Universal, Twentieth Century-Fox, Goldwyn and Columbia studios.
April 1939
Fitzgeralds travel to Cuba. FSF goes on bender; is hospitalized on return to New York.
July 1939
FSF breaks with his longtime agent Harold Ober.
Summer 1939
FSF begins work on The Last Tycoon.
September 1939
FSF unsuccessfully attempts to sell serial rights to his work-in-progress to Colliers.
January 1940
Publication in Esquire of  “Pat Hobbys Christmas Wish,” first of seventeen-story series.
March-August 1940
FSF works on Cosmopolitan (Babylon Revisited) script; it is not produced.
ca. 15 April 1940
ZF discharged from Highland Hospital; lives with her mother at 322 Sayre Street in Montgomery.
May 1940
FSF moves to 1403 North Laurel Avenue, Hollywood.
21 December 1940
FSF dies of heart attack at Sheilah Grahams apartment, 1443 North Hayworth Avenue, Hollywood.
27 December 1940
FSF buried in Rockville Union Cemetery, Rockville, Maryland.
27 October 1941
Publication of The Last Tycoon.
12 August 1945
Publication of The Crack-Up.
September 1945
Publication of The Portable F. Scott Fitzgerald.
November 1947
ZF returns to Highland Hospital from Montgomery.
10 March 1948
ZF dies in fire at Highland Hospital.
17 March 1948
ZF buried with FSF.
18 November 1950
Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan donates the Fitzgerald Papers to Princeton University.
7 November 1975
FSF and ZF reinterred in the Fitzgerald family plot at St. Mary’s church, Rockville, Maryland.
18 June 1986
Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith dies; she is buried with her parents at St. Marys church, Rockville.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist and short-story writer of the Roaring Twenties. Since his early work shows a romantic feeling for "the promises of life" at college and in "The East," he acquired the epithet "the spokesman of the Jazz Age." His first novel, This Side of Paradise. was the first American novel to deal with college undergraduate life in the World War I era. A handsome and charming man, Fitzgerald was quickly adopted by the young generation of his time. His second novel, The Beautiful and the Damned. is a lively but shallow book, but his third, The Great Gatsby. is one of the most penetrating descriptions of American life in the 1920s.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sept. 24. 1896, Scott Fitzgerald was the son of Edward Fitzgerald. who worked for Proctor and Gamble and brought his family to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York for most of his son's first decade. Edward Fitzgerald's great-great-grandfather was the brother of the grandfather of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner." This fact was of great significance to Mrs. Fitzgerald. Mollie McQuillan, and later to Scott. Mollie Fitzgerald's own family could offer no pretensions to aristocracy but her father, an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1843, was a self-made businessman. Equally important was Fitzgerald's sense of having come from two widely different Celtic strains. He had early on developed an inferiority complex in a family where the "black Irish half... had the money and looked down on the Maryland side of the family who had, and really had... 'breeding,' " according to Scott Donaldson in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Out of this divergence of classes in his family background arose what critics called F. Scott's "double vision." He had the ability to experience the lifestyle of the wealthy from an insider's perspective, yet never felt a part of this clique and always felt the outsider.

As a youth Fitzgerald revealed a flair for dramatics, first in St. Paul, where he wrote original plays for amateur production, and later at the Newman Academy in Hackensack, New Jersey. At Princeton, he composed lyrics for the university's famous Triangle Club productions. Fitzgerald was also a writer and actor with the Triangle Club at college. Before he could graduate, he volunteered for the army during World War I. He spent the weekends writing the earliest drafts of his first novel. The work was accepted for publication in 1919 by Charles Scribner's Sons. The popular and financial success that accompanied this event enabled Fitzgerald to marry Zelda Sayre, whom he met at training camp in Alabama. Zelda played a pivotal role in the writer's life, both in a tempestuous way and an inspirational one. Mostly, she shared his extravagant lifestyle and artistic interests. In the 1930s she was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and was hospitalized in Switzerland and then Maryland, where she died in a fire.

For some time, Fitzgerald lived with his wife in Long Island. There, the setting for The Great Gatsby, he entertained in a manner similar to his characters, with expensive liquors and entertainment. He reveled in demonstrating the antics of the crazy, irresponsible rich, and carried this attitude wherever he went. Especially on the Riviera m France, the Fitzgeralds befriended the elite of the cultural world and wealthy classes, only to offend most of them in some way by their outrageous behavior. Self-absorbed, drunk, and eccentric, they sought and received attention of all kinds. The party ended with the hospitalization of Zelda for schizophrenia in Prangins, a Swiss clinic, and, coincidentally, with the Great Depression of 1929, which tolled the start of Scott's personal depression.

In the decade before his death, Fitzgerald's troubles and the debilitating effects of his alcoholism limited the quality and amount of his writing. Nonetheless, it was also during this period that he attempted his most psychologically complex and aesthetically ambitious novel, Tender Is the Night (1934) After Zelda's breakdown, Fitzgerald became romantically involved with Sheila Graham, a gossip columnist m Hollywood, during the last years of his life. He also wrote but did not finish the novel The Last Tycoon, now considered to be one of his best works, about the Hollywood motion picture industry. Fitzgerald died suddenly of a heart attack, most likely induced by a long addiction to alcohol, on December 21,1940. At the time of his death, he was virtually forgotten and unread. A growing Fitzgerald revival, begun m the 1950s, led to the publication of numerous volumes of stories, letters, and notebooks. One of his literary critics, Stephen Vincent Benet, concluded in his review of The Last Tycoon, "you can take off your hats now, gentlemen, and I think perhaps you had better. This is not a legend, this is a reputation and, seen in perspective, it may well be one of the most secure reputations of our time."


The Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties

The Jazz Age began soon after World War I and ended with the 1929 stock market crash. Victorious, America experienced an economic boom and expansion. Politically, the country made major advances in the area of women's independence. During the war, women had enjoyed economic independence by taking over jobs for the men who fought overseas. After the war, they pursued financial independence and a freer lifestyle. This was the time of the "flappers," young women who dressed up in jewelry and feather boas, wore bobbed hairdos, and danced the Charleston. Zelda Fitzgerald and her cronies, including Sara Murphy, exemplified the ultimate flapper look. In The Great Gatsby, Jordan Baker is an athletic, independent woman, who maintains a hardened, amoral view of life. Her character represents the new breed of woman in America with a sense of power during this time.

As a reaction against the fads and liberalism that emerged in the big cities after the war, the U.S. Government and conservative elements in the country advocated and imposed legislation restricting the manufacture and distribution of liquor. Its organizers, the Women's Christian Temperance Movement, National Prohibition Party, and others, viewed alcohol as a dangerous drug that disrupted lives and families. They felt it the duty of the government to relieve the temptation of alcohol by banning it altogether. In January, 1919, the U.S Congress ratified the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that outlawed the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors" on a national level. Nine months later, the Volstead Act passed, proving the enforcement means for such measures. Prohibition, however, had little effect on the hedonism of the liquor-loving public, and speakeasies, a type of illegal bar, cropped up everywhere. One Fitzgerald critic, Andre Le Vot, wrote: "The bootlegger entered American folklore with as much public complicity as the outlaws of the Old West had enjoyed."

New York City and the Urban Corruption

Prohibition fostered a large underworld industry in many big cities, including Chicago and New York. For years, New York was under the control of the Irish politicians of Tammany Hall, which assured that corruption persisted Bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling thrived, while police took money from shady operators engaged in these activities and overlooked the illegalities. A key player in the era of Tammany Hall was Arnold Rothstein (Meyer Wolfsheim in the novel). Through his campaign contributions to the politicians, he was entitled to a monopoly of prostitution and gambling in New York until he was murdered in 1928.

A close friend of Rothstein, Herman "Rosy" Rosenthal, is alluded to in Fitzgerald's book when Gatsby and Nick meet for lunch. Wolfsheim says that "The old Metropole I can't forget so long as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there."

This mobster also made campaign contributions, or paid off, his political boss. When the head of police, Charles Becker, tried to receive some of Rosenthal's payouts, Rosenthal complained to a reporter. This act exposed the entire corruption of   Tammany Hall and the New York police force. Two days later, Becker's men murdered Rosenthal on the steps of the Metropole. Becker and four of his men went to the electric chair for their part in the crime.

The Black Sox Fix of 1919

The 1919 World Series was the focus of a scandal that sent shock waves around the sports world. The Chicago White Sox were heavily favored to win the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Due to low game attendance during World War I, players' salaries were cut back In defiance, the White Sox threatened to strike against their owner, Charles Comiskey, who had refused to pay them a higher salary. The team's first baseman, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, approached a bookmaker and gambler, Joseph Sullivan, with an offer to intentionally lose the series. Eight players, including left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, participated ill the scam. With the help of Arnold Rothstein, Sullivan raised the money to pay the players, and began placing bets that the White Sox would lose. The Sox proceeded to suffer one of the greatest sports upsets ill history, and lost three games to five. When the scandal was exposed, due to a number of civil cases involving financial losses on the part of those who betted for the Sox, the eight players were banned from baseball for life and branded the "Black Sox." In the novel, Gatsby tells Nick that Wolfsheim was "the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919" Shocked, Nick thinks to himself, "It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe." Gatsby himself is tied to possibly shady dealings throughout the course of the book. He takes mysterious phone calls and steps aside for private, undisclosed conversations. It was said that "one time he killed a man who found out that he was nephew to von Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil."

The Cover Artwork

Fitzgerald's editor, Maxwell Perkins, commissioned a full-color, illustrated jacket design from the Spanish artist Francis Cugat. Cugat had worked previously on movie poster and sets and was employed as a designer in Hollywood. The An Deco piece that he produced for the novel shows the outlined eyes of a woman looking out of a midnight blue sky above the carnival lights of Coney Island in Manhattan. The piece was completed seven months before the novel, and Fitzgerald may have used it to inspire his own imagery. He calls Daisy the "girl whose disembodied face floated along the ark cornices and blinding signs" of New York.

"Nothing is as obnoxious as other people's luck."