F. Scott Fitzgerald Statistics

F. Scott Fitzgerald Statistics

F. Scott Fitzgerald sales statistics

  • Fitzgerald’s most famous novel and best-seller, The Great Gatsby, only sold 25,000 copies before he died in 1940
  • Since then, it has sold over 30 million copies
  • The Great Gatsby still sells 500,000 copies per year
  • In 1920, Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, sold 40,000 copies in its first year
  • The book sold 49,075 during his lifetime earning him royalties of $13,036 between 1920 and 1923
  • In 1919, Fitzgerald earned $879 – less than the amount required to pay tax and was essentially living in poverty
  • In 1920, after the release of his first novel, he earned $17,055
    • He sold 11 short stories to magazines for $3,975
    • 4 short stories to movie studios for $7,425
    • Made $6,200 in royalties on This Side of Paradise
  • Fitzgerald went on to average an income of around $24,000 for the rest of his working life – putting him in the top 1% of earners in the USA at the time
  • The two modern movie adaptations of Fitzgerald’s works have made over $650 million at the box office
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button made $335.8 million at the box office
    • The Great Gatsby (2013) made $353.6 million a the box office

How many books did F. Scott Fitzgerald release?

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote 4 novels plus a final unfinished novel that was released after his death
  • He also released 4 collections of short stories
  • Fitzgerald published 164 short stories during his lifetime that were generally published in magazines, newspapers or as part of his short story collections
  • Fitzgeralds works often focused on the relaxing of social norms and the move towards self-gratification in American society at the time
  • He is widely credited for coining and/ or popularizing the term “The Jazz Age” to describe the 1920s
Title of NovelPublishedWord CountAudiobook Length
This Side of Paradise19201509 hrs and 10 mins
The Beautiful and Damned192246613 hrs and 1 min
The Great Gatsby19252084 hrs and 49 mins
Tender Is the Night193427212 hrs and 36 mins
The Last Tycoon19411631 hr and 26 mins

Movies based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works

  • 13 feature length movies have been made based on the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Great Gatsby has been made into a movie on 4 different occasions
  • The two modern movie adaptations of Fitzgerald’s works have made over $650 million at the box office
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button made $335.8 million at the box office
    • The Great Gatsby (2013) made $353.6 million a the box office
The Chorus Girl’s Romance1920
The Husband Hunter1920
The Off-Shore Pirate1921
The Beautiful and Damned1922
The Great Gatsby1926
The Great Gatsby1949
The Last Time I Saw Paris1954
Tender Is the Night1962
The Great Gatsby1974
The Last Tycoon1976
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button2008
The Great Gatsby2013

The life of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Birth and early life

  • Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896
  • His full name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
  • He was named after Francis Scott Key – the man who wrote the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner and a distant relative
  • Fitzgerald mainly grew up in Buffalo, New York attendeding school there until the final two years of high school which he spent in New Jersey.

Princeton, the army and rise to fame and fortune

  • Fitzgerald went on to study at Princeton
  • During his time there he met a girl called Ginerva King – he was lower class and she was upper class. She was the inspiration for many of his characters – including Daisy Buchanan.
  • After being rejected by Ginerva, Fitzgerald joined the army hoping to fight in WW1
  • The heartbroken Fitzgerald hoped to die at war in Europe so he wrote a manuscript quickly hoping to have it published before his death
  • It was rejected by publishers but did receive some positive feedback
  • Fitzgerald was never sent to war and after it ended he was discharged, moved to New York City and got a job at an advertising agency
  • He was still writing in his spare time
  • Fitzgerald’s second love, Zelda, had also rejected him and he was once again suicidal
  • He quit his job, went home to Minnesota, and decided to focus on one last attempt and having a novel published
  • He was successful. Scribner accepted his novel, This Side of Paradise, which became an instant success
  • Fitzgerald became a household name and newspapers started to accept his stories that they had already rejected in the past
  • His engagement to Zelda was back on now that he was financially successful and the pair got married in 1920

Living a life of partying, birth of his daughter and the release of Gatsby

  • Zelda and Fitzgerald lived in hotels, partied a lot, and lived an indulgent lifestyle
  • Their daughter Frances Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1922
  • When she was born, Zelda said she was glad it was a girl and hoped she would be “a beautiful little fool” — a line Fitzgerald used verbatim in The Great Gatsby
  • Now living out in Long Island, a neighbor and the luxurious parties provided the inspiration for Jay Gatsby
  • In 1924, Fitzgerald moved the family to the French Riviera to focus on the book but Zelda became entangled in an affair that led to an overdose which slowed the book down
  • They moved to Rome where he finished the book
  • It was expected to be a huge success but only sold 23,000 copies in its first year

The depression and falling out of fashion

  • Once the great depression hit, Fitzgerald’s writing was no longer aspirational but simply out of touch with the common man
  • Fitzgerald struggled with alcoholism throughout his life which impacted both his health and his work
  • After a short spell writing for a movie studio, he got sober and planned his great comeback novel
  • However, at the age of 44, he died of a heart attack in 1940 leaving his final novel unfinished