« Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival. »
« The only way I can pay back for what fate and society have handed me is to try, in minor totally useless ways, to make an angry sound against injustice. »
« I tell you loneliness is the thing to master. Courage and fear, love, death are only parts of it and can easily be ruled afterwards. If I make myself master my own loneliness there will be peace or safety: and perhaps these are the same. »
Martha was born in St. Louis, Missouri in a rich family. Her father was of Jewish origin, and her mother was from a Protestant family. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a supporter of women’s right to vote. Martha attended a private school that her parents founded in St. Louis and was very clever; she liked to write very much.
The start of her journalism career
Martha graduated in 1926 from high school and went to college in Philadelphia. In 1927, she left college before graduating because she wanted to start writing as a journalist.
Her first articles appeared in a newspaper called “The New Republic”.
In 1930, Martha decided that she wanted to become a correspondent from another country, so she went to France for two years where she worked in Paris.
While Martha was in France, she wrote about her experiences in a book.
After her first book, she traveled America to write about the problems of the time and collected them in another book, “The trouble I’ve seen”.
Martha published a lot of other books over the years, and collections of articles on war.
Wedding and new travels
Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway with General Yu Hanmou, Chungking, China,1941
In 1940 Martha married the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, and together they traveled to Spain to write about the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of World War II.
After Spain, she was sent to different other states in Europe to collect news about World War II and reported every major event of the war and of its end.
After World War II, she went to Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, and was there to write for a lot of important conflicts and events.
Martha died in London at 89 years old.
The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism was established in her honor.
On October 2007 she was chosen to be put on postage stamps, and in 2011, she was the subject of an episode of the World Media Rights series Extraordinary Woman in the United States.
In 2012, a movie about her and her husband’s life was very popular.
Martha Gellhorn was one of five individuals – and the only woman – honored in the 2008 American Journalists stamp series.
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