Zelda Fitzgerald

By: Madison Higginbotham

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (July 24, 1900-March 10, 1948)

She was born in Montgomery, Alabama and was a daunting presence in in Southern society. Shortly after high school, she met F. Scott Fitzgerald and was unimpressed by him and did not think that his financial standards would be able to support a family. Determined to win over the heart of Zelda and financial security, Fitzgerald started on his first book. After Fitzgerald got someone to publish his novel on March 20, 1920, Zelda agreed to travel to New York to live with and marry him. The couple got married in April of 1920 and later moved to Europe. Scott used their unstable relationship as material in his books. He even used pieces of writing in Zelda's diary to add characteristics to some of the heroins in his stories. At age 27, while trying to find an artistic identity of her own, Zelda became obsessed with a career as a ballerina.

The strain of her unstable marriage, her husband's increasing alcoholism, and her instability, she was admitted in 1930 to Sheppard Pratt sanitarium in Towson, Maryland. When she was admitted she was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. While there, she wrote a semi auto-biographical novel which was published in 1932, called "Save Me The Waltz." While Scott was in Hollywood trying screenwriting and enduring in other relationships, Zelda was entered into the Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. Scott died in 1940, and Zelda spent the rest of her life writing a second novel and painting. She never completed the second novel. She died in 1948 when the Highland Mental Hospital caught fire.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was an icon of the 1920s and was dubbed "the first American flapper" by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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