Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the Twenties. He finished four novels, including This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and his most famous, the celebrated novel, The Great Gatsby. A fifth novel, "The Last Tycoon" was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
Fitzgerald had been an alcoholic since his college days, and became notorious during the 1920s for his extraordinarily heavy drinking, leaving him in poor health by the late 1930s. He especially liked to drink vodka. In addition, Fitzgerald was likely bipolar, a condition exacerbated by drug abuse. According to Zelda's biographer, Nancy Milford, Scott claimed that he had contracted tuberculosis, but Milford dismisses it as a pretext to cover his drinking problems. However, Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli contends that Fitzgerald did in fact have recurring tuberculosis, and Nancy Milford reports that Fitzgerald biographer Arthur Mizener said that Scott suffered a mild attack of tuberculosis in 1919, and in 1929 he had "what proved to be a tubercular hemorrhage". It has been said that the hemorrhage was caused by bleeding from esophageal varices.
Fitzgerald suffered two heart attacks in late 1940. After the first, in Schwab's Drug Store he was ordered by his doctor to avoid strenuous exertion. He moved in with Sheilah Graham, who lived at North Hayworth Ave In Hollywood; One block west of Fitzgerald's apartment on North Laurel Ave. Fitzgerald had two flights of stairs to get to his apartment, Graham's was a ground floor apartment. On the night of December 20, 1940, he had his second heart attack, Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham attended the premiere of "This Thing Called Love" starring Melvyn Douglas and Rosalind Russell. As the two were leaving the Pantages Theater, Fitzgerald experienced a dizzy spell and had trouble leaving the theater, upset he said to Ms. Graham "They think I am drunk, don't they?"