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July 2: Hemingway Checks Out


On this day in 1961, Ernest Hemingway took his own life in Ketchum, Idaho. Now, there is a lot of fake news, as it were, about Hemingway’s death. It’s been generally reported and accepted that heavy drinking and wild-eyed paranoia drove Hemingway to kill himself. His handlers thought he was paranoid because Hemingway claimed, again and again, that he’d spotted FBI agents shadowing him, that he was under constant surveillance by the government. Well, it’s time you got the facts. First, according to recently declassified FBI files, it turns out that Hemingway was indeed under heavy FBI surveillance, including FBI agents following him around. Hemingway wasn’t paranoid, he just had a sharp eye. Second, Hemingway pulled the trigger after three months of not drinking. In lieu of alcohol, he was force-fed a steady diet of shock treatments and promises he would never be allowed to drink again. As his son noted, “He might have survived with alcohol, but could not live when deprived of it.” So, now you know the truth.