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The dominant influences on F Scott Fitzgerald were aspiration literature Princeton Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and alcohol Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St Paul Minnesota on September 24 1896 His father Edward was from Maryland and his mother Mary McQuillan was the daughter of an Irish immigrant who became wealthy as a grocer in St Paul Both were from Catholic families Edward Fitzgerald failed as a manufacturer of wicker furniture in St Paul and he became a salesman for Procter Gamble in New York After he was dismissed in 1908 when his son was twelve the family returned to St Paul and lived comfortably on Marys inheritance Fitzgerald attended the St Paul Academy His first writing to appear in print was a detective story in the school newspaper when he was thirteen From 1911-1913 he attended the Neumann School a Catholic prep school in New Jersey He was a member of the Princeton class of 1917 During this time he neglected his studies He wrote lyrics and scripts for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals On academic probation and very unlikely to graduate Fitzgerald joined the army in 1917 and he was commissioned second lieutenant in the infantry Assured that he would die in the war he quickly wrote a novel The Romantic Egotist the rejection later stated that he should revise the novel and then resubmit it In June 1918 Fitzgerald was assigned to Camp Sheridan in Alabama While there he fell in love with eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre the youngest daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge After rewriting the novel and submitting it a second time to Scribners it was still rejected After his discharge in 1919 he went to New York to pursue his fortune in order to marry Unwilling to wait while Fitzgerald succeeded the advertisement business and unwilling to live on his small salary Zelda broke their engagement Fitzgerald quit his job in July
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