By Gabriel McDaniel

Ernest Hemingway: Star of the Star

Ernest Hemingway: many know him for his career as an author, but before his time as an author he was a powerhouse of the Toronto Star. The Toronto Star molded and shaped Hemingway into a great writer, even though he often complained about working for the newspaper. Working at the Toronto Star from 1920 to 1924, Hemingway would often ridicule places, people, and culture. Becoming one of the most critical reporters for the Toronto Star and a double-dealer of information for the Hearst Newspaper, he was still known for his heavy-handed reports, and for exposing things as they were, even if it was a little exaggerated at times.

Although his time at the Star was brief, Ernest Hemingway wrote some of the most scandalous articles of the 1920’s. At one point Hemingway, in a letter to his parents, even said that “we’re out to get the mayor,” for mooching for votes. But, while he did write many scathing pieces, Hemingway’s main attraction and what the Toronto Star recognizes him for is his job as the foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star. Hemingway himself said that it was the highlight of his career, and many considered him lucky to be able to travel Europe and write about the cultures there. In his article, “A Canadian With $1,000 A Year Can Live Very Comfortably and Enjoyably In Paris,” Hemingway would describe his time in Paris as a reporter, and how you could live comfortably, even writing “PARIS- Paris in the winter is rainy, cold, beautiful, and cheap. It is also noisy, jostling, crowded, and cheap. It is everything you want- and cheap.” In another one of his articles, he wrote about Chicago and it’s growing issue of violence in his story named, “The Wild West is Now in Chicago” in which he describes the growing murder rate in the city of Chicago, and says, “But, the Wild West hasn’t disappeared. It has only moved. Just at present it is located at the southwestern end of Lake Michigan, and the range that the bad men ride is that enormous smoky jungle of buildings they call Chicago.” Stories such as these would define Hemingways’ career as a reporter, and mold him into one of the greatest authors of all time.

However, this would end abruptly in his last year at the Toronto Star. In the year of 1924 on January 1, Ernest Hemingway would submit his letter of resignation to the Toronto Star, even after being on the Toronto Weekly. See, Hemingway was a “project” for the managing editor John Bone, who was hated by the city editor Harry Hindmarsh, and that put Hemingway in the crossfire. Hindmarsh would rush Hemingway and put him over the flames, forcing deadlines, and spiking Hemingway’s stories. Eventually, Hemingway would say, “If I have to stay with him. I’ll go crazy.” Later Hemingway would resign and say in an unpublished letter in 1953 that, “I would like to propose that Harry Hindmarsh burn in hell.” Even though his hatred for Hindmarsh continued for many years, his eventual resignation from the Star would turn Ernest Hemingway into an American classic author who brought inspiration to the world.

From his double dealings in Europe to complaining about not being paid enough at the Star, Hemingway was one of the least known, but most critical authors of the early twentieth century. Harry Hindmarsh eventually recognized this and said he, “made a mistake” on the way he dealt with Hemingway. Hemingway’s reports on violence, war, culture, and Europe created his own inspiration for many of his books and gave the people of the Toronto Star a proud history which they can hold high in their hearts. To conclude, Hemingway’s first wife, Hadly Richardson, would say this about Hemingway: “That’s the kind of guy he was… frightfully sensitive. It was a misty, misty, occasion,” and it was this sensitive nature that made Hemingway into the great reporter that he was.
A special thanks to the Toronto Star for opening this information to the public. To learn more about Ernest Hemingways’ career at the Toronto Star and to read some of his articles, go to this URL.