Fun Fact of the Day: F. Scott Fitzgerald Was Bad at Spelling

Fun Fact of the Day: F. Scott Fitzgerald Was Bad at Spelling

The early 20th century american author F. Scott Fitzgerald is famous for novels such as The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night.  According to Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library at the University of South Carolina.

“We know he didn’t spell very well,” she said. “And his arithmetic wasn’t much better.”

The observations are based on Fitzgerald’s personal diaries which have been put online for fans to coincide with the release of the new motion picture adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The author meticulously documented his life in a ledger which contained five sections: “Record of Published Fiction,” “Money Earned by Writing since Leaving Army,” “Published Miscelani (including movies) for which I was Paid,” “Zelda’s [his wife] Earnings,” and “Outline Chart of my Life.”

The ledger is set out much like a spreadsheet is today and contains information from 1919 to 1937, which is coincidentally when the above photo was taken by Carl van Vechten.

You can access the online ledger here: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger: 1919-1937.  It’s really quite neat – you probably won’t have time to look through the whole thing, but it’s worth just viewing a page or two to get a feel for how exhaustive Fitzgerald was in cataloguing his life – he details his life events starting from his birth.

Some other fun facts from the ledger:

– Fitzgerald weighed 10lbs, 6oz. at birth and had colic.

– His first word as a baby was “up”.

– He had a scar on his forehead from when he slid down the hall carpet at age three.

– And he got an ‘A’ in history when he was 16-years old!

Source: [F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger transcript], [BBC News] and [Wikipedia photo]

Image | This entry was posted in 20th Century, Cool Document, Family Life, Fun Fact of the Day, Historical Movies, Modern History, New Research, U.S. History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Fun Fact of the Day: F. Scott Fitzgerald Was Bad at Spelling

  1. Vin Getz says:

    History does kick ass. Awesome blog.

  2. Could I get proof that he was bad spelling???

  3. kerbey says:

    I can tell by his tie that he was a bad speller.

  4. moore314 says:

    Ha, I did not know this. I did know that Gandhi hated school! I think it’s good for struggling students to hear facts like these. It humanizes historical icons and shows that learning problems can be overcome!

    • I did not know this fun fact about Gandhi! I will share this with my students. I think you are quite correct: we are constantly bombarded in our student-years with pressure to be successful. It’s nice to remember that struggling is a human constant.

  5. JB Vincent says:

    I love your blog and am just followed it. I’m looking forward to perusing through your stuff. Incidentally, I just read the above comments; I live in a Gandhi-like shrine. My landlords are still very close to his family. I guess they have been advisors to the Indian intelligentsia since the 40’s. Cool stuff. Anyway, great post on Fitzgerald. I did one yesterday on how much I hated the new Gatsby movie. If you’re interested, you can find it here:

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